The 2018 mcalester news-capital spring baseball all area team sports complications after tooth extraction

Adams did not play basketball this season. The Eagles won the Class B state title in basketball and got off to a slow start in baseball, having turned right back around to focus on baseball two days after defeating Earlsboro in the state championship game at the Big House. Red Oak got off to a 6-9 start through March 31.

The Eagles did have a couple of wins following the March 19 12-10 loss to Roff. Red Oak got them back, 7-3, the next day, and took some time off before getting a 10-2 win against Hartshorne March 26. It was in April that the Eagles started to roll.

Red Oak won 10 straight games between April 9 and April 19, including Coweta’s wood bat tournament. Adams launched a grand slam against the host Tigers in the semifinal game, with the Eagles prevailing, 9-0 and pulling off a 3-2 win against Tulsa NOAH HomeSchool in the championship.

He hopes to play baseball at the next level and has gotten some offers. Adams turned down an offer from Oklahoma Wesleyan University, and is currently weighing an offer from Randall University. He plans on playing travel ball this summer. If he doesn’t get an offer, he would love to attend Northeastern State University as a walk on and would like to become a history professor down the line.

Adams will go down as a two time state champion, being a member of the 2016 spring baseball team and 2017 fall baseball team. Red Oak fell, 4-2, to Drummond in the Class B state semifinals this spring. Drummond would fall to Leedey, 2-1, in the state championship game. He played eight seasons of baseball there.

He was pivotal as a two-way player for Red Oak, batting .486 with eight home runs and 39 RBIs, but he also shut down opposing batters. The lefty Balentine logged 62 innings this spring, going 6-1 with a 1.65 ERA. He struck out 81 batters against 22 walks. Those numbers from Carl Albert State College signee in 2018 earned him the first ever All-Area Pitcher of the Year Award by the McAlester News-Capital.

The 2017-18 year was Balentine’s first and only year at Red Oak. He spent the first three years at Wister. Balentine came to the Eagles, and played a part in the team winning the fall state championship in Class B in 2017. That was their fourth fall baseball crown, Red Oak’s first since 2012, and 10th one overall, with Balentine pitching a complete game against Leedey and earning Co-MVP honors of the 2017 fall baseball all area team by the McAlester News-Capital.

The plan is for him to continue being a two-way player at Carl Albert, saying he prefers to hit and play outfield, though he still loves pitching. He will be a middle reliever with the Vikings. Balentine intends to major in health and physical education.

Brand Godwin had torn ligaments in his knee in the fall, and didn’t start playing until after spring break. Camden Stone hurt his ankle and missed some time during the spring as well, and Colton Ray twisted his ankle in the fall, though he was back by the time the spring rolled around.

Bowen’s favorite moment from this past season was the Asher regional tournament. The Cowboys lost, 3-2, to the Indians April 26, putting them in the consolation bracket of the tournament, but Kiowa rallied with a 23-0 win over Buffalo Valley April 27 before getting a rematch with Asher later in the day. Kiowa knotted things up with a 13-3 win, setting the scene one final game April 28, with the winner going to state. Kiowa broke free for 16 runs, pulling off a 16-4 win and a regional championship.

“Basically, we got beat by a team that was better than us,” Bowen said about the Drummond game. “Did we have a chance to win? Yes. We don’t make a couple plays that we could’ve made during the first inning and we threw a pitch to the wrong part of the plate. Them being a real good team, they made us pay. The kid (Garrett DeHaas) hits a home run, they score two runs, that’s all the scoring in the whole game.”

Kiowa racked up a number of team accolades this season, taking the Kiowa Cowboy Spring Classic and the Pitt 8 Conference Tournament, both for the second year in a row, and third place in the Crowder Baseball Invitational Tournament to go along with a trip to state.

Bowen said a return to the state tournament will depend a lot on the players and how successful they want to be. He said it’s not easier in the fall, but that all that needs to be done is win two games, since two teams of each regional go to state in the fall, while only the champion goes in the spring. He said they’ll definitely have a chance if the likes of pitchers Wyatt Gardner and Cache Stone do their part, though he said spring is tougher.