The Stillwater High baseball team couldn’t figure out Edmond Santa Fe’s Ty Hensley in the first round of the Class 6A state baseball tournament.
Hensley, a potential first-round draft pick pitcher in the MLB first-year draft, mowed down 14 Pioneers and gave up just one hit as Stillwater fell 4-1 to bring an end to its season.
“He was a little wild early, and we knew he has a tendency to do that sometime. But he's a great pitcher with a great arm and is going to be a high draft pick,” SHS coach Tony Holt said following a game that started over two hours later than its originally scheduled time.
SHS senior Parker Zimmerman added, “It’s tough. You never want to lose the last game of the year. You always want to be state champs, but the underclassmen need to remember this feeling so they don't get it next year.”
The Pioneers had two runners in each of the first four innings, though none of them were via hits. Stillwater had two hit batsmen and were issued four walks, but were never able to score a run in the first three innings.
In the top of the fourth, Taylor Throne was injured at first on a fielding error by Santa Fe as he came across the bag. After some time, Throne was replaced on the base path by Luke Spencer. Nathan Joliff was walked with one out in the inning to put runners on first and second, but then Corey Hassel and Ryder Jones were struck out.
“We got some hit batsmen, some walks and got those runners on, but you've still got to finish the deal and get that big base hit,” Holt said. “And he just toughened up when he had to — like good pitchers do.”
Parker Zimmerman ended the no-hitter and shutout with the first pitch of the fifth inning with a deep home run to left field off of Hensley to make it 3-1.
“I figured he was going to bring in the fastball and put a good swing on it — and just got lucky I guess,” Zimmerman said with a smile.
Stillwater ended up stranding a total of nine base runners in the contest, with six of them left in scoring position.
The Timberwolves scored their first run in the bottom of the first, set up when the first three batters reached base on a walk and two singles. A runner scored on fielder’s choice by Santa Fe's Heath Yetter with one out in the inning.
Santa Fe put up two more runs in the bottom of the third on a RBI triple by Daniel Costello and another fielder’s choice from Yetter.
Santa Fe had a chance for a fourth run in the fourth inning, but Santa Fe base runner Chance Farris slipped rounding third on a single by Drew Umbro and was tagged by Gage Hines — who had come in at third base for the injured Throne.
In all, Santa Fe collected just five hits off of SHS starter Ryder Jones, who went the entire game on the mound for the Pioneers.
“I thought Ryder pitched tremendous. He threw certainly well enough to win the ball game,” Holt said. “But we made three errors, and just made a few too many mistakes — and in a game like this it is magnified, especially when you are having so much trouble on the other side scoring runs.”
Santa Fe scored its fourth and final run of the game on an error on a pickoff attempt by Zimmerman on a base runner stealing third with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
Edmond Sante Fe will play defending champion Broken Arrow in the semifinals of the Class 6A tournament at 6:30 p.m. Friday.