The defending State champion Washington baseball team begins their defense of their title today (Thursday) with a 4 p.m. showdown with Victory Christian.
The games are set to be played at the new stadium at Seminole State College.
“I like our mind set right now,” said head coach Jeff Kulbeth. “I believe this team is truly locked in.”
The Warriors (29-5) and Victory Christian (24-8) played in the State tournament last season, when Washington knocked them out with a 15-5 defeat.
“We haven’t played this year but obviously saw them last year,” Kulbeth said. “They have guys who are back from last year’s team. They can really swing it in the 1-4 holes of the lineup. They like to be aggressive on the bases and run on you and their catcher is really good.”
The road to the State tournament went through Washington in the Regional tournament.
They defeated Purcell 12-0 to open the tournament.
Marlon Moore struck out three batters over five innings in a complete game for the junior hurler. He gave up four hits and no walks.
The Warriors scored two runs in the first inning but blew the game wide open when they hung a six spot on the Dragons in the second.
They added two more runs in each the third and fourth innings.
Dax McCaskill and Cam Bates both homered in the game. McCaskill was 2-3 with four RBIs. He also doubled while scoring twice.
Moore helped his own cause, going 3-4 with a triple and plating a pair of runners.
The Warriors squared off with Jones next in the first of two Regional tournament meetings.
Junior pitcher Tristin Babbitt dazzled in the 8-0 win, pitching a no-hitter and allowing no walks.
“I don’t care where you are; to throw a no-hitter in the Regional tournament is pretty impressive,” Kulbeth said. “We had three of the most dominate performances in a Regional that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been doing this a long time. The way we performed on the mound, on defense, the way we ran the base – what a complete performance.”
The Warriors jumped on the Longhorns early and put up three runs in the first inning.
They added two in the fourth, one in the fifth and two more for good measure in the sixth inning.
Marlon Moore, Sutton Moore and McCaskill and went yard.
Senior catcher Kane Springer doubled.
The second game against Jones was an old-fashioned beat down which ended in a 20-2 final.
Nate Roberts was the winning pitcher and Kade Norman and Jonathen Montoya came on in relief.
Jake Wells, Marlon Moore, Bates, Norman and McCaskill (2) all homered.
Bates was a perfect 5-5 at the dish and also had three doubles. He had seven ribbies on the day.
Marlon Moore was 3-3 four RBIs.
“We scored 38 runs to only giving up two in the Regional tournament,” Kulbeth said. “We will enjoy this week. I feel good and we just need to stay hungry.”
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