Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wister, Whitesboro was a classic

I seldom like to throw around clichés and sound like a cheesy sport’s broadcaster, but pardon me for saying the Wister and Whitesboro game Wednesday evening was indeed a classic.

The game was a winner’s bracket semifinal in the baseball LCT, coming shortly after Spiro defeated Poteau, 10-9, in the earlier game.

Wister is the defending tournament champion and had been virtually unbeatable since winning the LCT last year. The Wildcats’ only loss this season coming into the tournament was by…Whitesboro in the season opener.

But the Wildcats had reversed the previous loss in the Wister Tournament a couple of weeks ago and appeared poised to cruise through this year’s tournament just like they did last year.

However, it was soon evident this was not going to be another Wister slugfest. Typically, opposing pitchers need counseling after undergoing the battering by the Wildcats’ hitters.

On this beautiful spring evening, Whitesboro pitcher Dexter Morgan mixed his pitches well and kept the lethal Wister hitters off balance.

He wound up striking out 13 and allowed only three hits, all to Caleb Hill. Wister pitcher Clint Crane was almost as good.

The two teams battled back and forth, playing the game like it should be played. Neither team ridiculed the other or hollered out any silly chants to try and rattle the opponent. When Crane hit one of the Whitesboro batters, he apologized.

Think that would happen in many other games? I don’t.

After Hill’s solo shot in the bottom of the fourth, Whitesboro rallied for two runs in the top of the fifth on Morgan’s double down the left-field line.

But nobody thought this one was over, not with Wister having at least nine outs. But Morgan stayed calm and the Wildcats’ only chance was a one-out triple by Hill in the bottom of the seventh.

Morgan struck out the next batter and got the final out on a grounder to first.

Many teams would have rushed the mound and celebrated like school had been cancelled for the rest of the year. But while the Bulldogs were pleased with the win, they also realized this tournament is far from over.

Whitesboro, one of the smallest schools in the county, will play longtime power Spiro tonight and Wister is still lurking, not yet ready to give up its championship.

But for at least one night, Whitesboro was at the top of the baseball world in LeFlore County.

This was a surprise, but the win improved Whitesboro to 16-4 overall and the Bulldogs reached the state tournament in the fall, so it is no fluke.


  1. Thanks for recognizing the small schools,it was an awesome game and could have easily gone either way. Both teams did a great job!! Remininded me why I love the game.

  2. Great write-up, Craig. Your description of the game was as if I was there watching it. Hats off to both schools for a great, competitive game. Sounds as if sportsmanship is alive and well in LeFlore county. Couldn't be more proud of the excellent coaching and teaching of these young men. As always, the Journal can be counted on to get it right.