By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Most players on the Glencoe Panthers will play in the Class A state baseball tournament for the first time. However, they do have experience playing on a big stage.
“We have eight kids that played on the state basketball championship team,” coach Tony Cazzelle said. “We aren’t going down there like it’s our first time at the circus. We plan to have solid at-bats, pitch well and win it.”
The Panthers hope to get one win closer to a state championshp when they face the Roff Tigers in the quarterfinals at Palmer Field in Oklahoma City.
Glencoe is scheduled to play at 4 p.m. Thursday. Wright City had to forfeit its quarterfinal game because of too many games. According to an Oklahoman article, Wright City filed and received a temporary restraining order from a McCurtain County judge and the hearing is scheduled for May 13. The Oklahoma Secondary School Activites Association plans to dispute the ruling.
Also, the weather could keep the game from being played as rain was in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday. Cazzelle said the game will be played as long as the field is not too wet.
The Tigers are ranked third in Class A and won their regional, scoring more than 10 runs in all three games. Cazzelle said Roff has good hitters but added they are young and is confident in Glencoe’s pitching.
“They have five freshman and three sophomores,” Cazzelle said. “That’s always an iffy thing. The freshman haven’t been there before. I feel like we got a good chance of beating them, especially with Nate (Melton) on the mound.
“He throws around 90. There’s talk that the weather is going to be really cold. It’s hard to hit in the cold.”
Glencoe (25-9) advanced to state by winning an elmination game 9-4 against Caddo Saturday. Cazzelle said he thinks it will help his team as it goes through a single-elimination tournament.
“They had the same experience in basketball,” Cazzelle said. “They lost the first area game and came back the next day and won. I’m not concerned. We are going to go out there and compete. We have the best pitcher. We feel good about our chances.”
The Panthers have been solid hit the plate, batting .381 and averaging seven runs per game. This season Glencoe has hit 26 home runs and drove in 210 runs. On the mound, the Panthers have a 3.01 ERA.
Glencoe will need three wins to claim the Class A state championship but it’s focused on Thursday’s quarterfinal.
“We need to make sure we win the first game,” Cazzelle said.