By Dave Ruthenberg, Sports Editor
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
No matter the outcome of the Connie Mack state tournament championship round, top-seeded OKC Sandlot assured itself of a berth in the Connie Mack South Plains Regional that begins Wednesday on the campus of TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, with a 4-3 victory — despite being held hitless — over the Southwest Shockers Sunday night at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
That win guaranteed OKC Sandlot’s berth in the regional regardless of the result of its championship round contest against Southmoore, an earlier 8-6 winner over the Woodward Majors. Southmoore is ineligible to participate in the regional tournament due to its provisional status.
The first championship game, originally scheduled for a 6 p.m. Sunday start, did not begin until after 9:30 p.m. and was not completed before press time. The results of that game are online at www.enidnews.com.
A win in that game by OKC Sandlot, the only team that remained undefeated in the tournament, clinches the state title for Sandlot. A Southmoore win would mean a deciding second championship game will be played at 6 tonight at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
Sunday’s games were played well behind schedule as an unexpected early morning rainfall played havoc with the schedule, pushing the start of the games back by several hours.
The first game on Sunday, slated originally for 1 p.m. between Southmoore and the Woodward Majors, did not begin until 4 p.m. as the field was not in playable condition after the infield was left unprotected overnight without a tarp covering it.
“That was my fault all the way,” said ballpark director Bill Mayberry. “The rain caught us by surprise. Wouldn’t you know it? During the 10 days of the junior college World Series, we put the tarp down every night and didn’t get any rain, but we got caught on this one.”
The schedule changes also meant the “if necessary” second championship game would potentially have to be played tonight (depending on the outcome of the late game between OKC Sandlot and Southmoore) and that is where things really could have gotten dicey thanks to the rain.
If the SW Shockers had defeated heavily-favored OKC Sandlot, today’s deciding championship game would have been moved to Lawton instead of Enid.
“The winner of the state tournament has to report for the regional at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, by 7 p.m. Tuesday and the Shockers are a lot closer to Fort Worth in traveling from their home in Lawton,” said Oklahoma Connie Mack commissioner Shannon Enfield in explaining the decision, which was supported by Mayberry.
But the OKC Sandlot took that option out of play with their win over the Shockers Sunday night that eliminated the Shockers from the tournament and set up a championship match for Sandlot against Southmoore.