Sapulpa baseball headed to Broken Arrow regional

Chieftains to BA regional against Tigers, Wildcats
Posted on 04/29/2019
(SPS) - The high school baseball regular season came to end with a 7-5 victory over Ozark, Mo. on Saturday and with that, Sapulpa now looks ahead to regional action.

It was an up and down year for the Chieftains, according to head coach Steven Irvine who pointed to late March in which the team was forced to "trust the process" and play seven games in five days.

"That stretch of games really tested our depth and our toughness. We didn't win as many games as we would have liked, but we played good baseball throughout the week," said Irvine. "We hope some of that development with our depth will pay off in the playoffs."

Just ahead of the playoffs, the Chieftains are coming off a three-game winning streak to complete their second straight season of at least 20 wins.

"Getting on the winning track going into regionals is nice, but more than just winning, it was good to see some pitchers really step up and pitch well the last few games. We try and focus on just playing good baseball and not worry too much with the outcomes. We feel if we prepare the right way and stay together as a team, the winning will take care of itself," said Irvine.

Sapulpa, 20-16, will head to the three-team regional in Broken Arrow near the high school where the Tigers and Ponca City Wildcats face off in Game 1 at 1 p.m. The Chieftains take the diamond at 3:30 p.m. against Ponca City in Game 2 and follow up with Broken Arrow at 6 p.m. in Game 3.

View the regional bracket here. Scroll to page 6.

The Tigers and Wildcats are familiar foes. Sapulpa beat Ponca City twice this season and lost a one-run extra-innings affair to Broken Arrow nearly three weeks ago. But, you can’t read too much into those games come the postseason.

"It will be nice to see Ponca and BA again from a familiarity stand point, but we know that playoff baseball is a different animal. Since they aren't in our district, we haven't seen either teams’ top pitchers. Fortunately we haven't shown them all of our pitchers either."

If the Chieftains prevail over the Wildcats, they’ll play the Tigers at 4 p.m. on Thursday. If the Chieftains lose that first game, they don’t play again until 4 p.m. on Friday.

Regardless of the postseason, Irvine said he’s extremely proud of the season the boys turned in this year.

"I love these kids and this job. There are challenging parts to it for sure, but I just am so proud of how they have continued to show up and continued to grind," said Irvine. "The slate is wiped clean now and we're ready to see where we stack up with the other teams across the state in playoff baseball."

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