Drummond's Swart sees positives in rainout

Drummond coach, Jared Swart, signals a baserunner during the Merrifield Tournament April 12, 2019 at Pioneer High School. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

DRUMMOND — The rain that swept across much of Oklahoma on Thursday didn't spare Drummond's Class B state tournament semifinal games.

But, while it was disappointing to have the games postponed until Saturday, it wasn't all bad news. At least Drummond found out before the team left for the two-hour trek to Shawnee.

"We were going to leave at 8:30 a.m., but they ended up moving the games right about that time so we stayed at the field and played some catch," said Drummond head coach Jared Swart on Friday. "We got a good solid round of practice in (Friday) morning."

The Bulldogs are in the semifinals after a 4-3 win Thursday over Whitesboro.

"It was a pretty tight game, pretty emotional," Swart said of the come from behind win. "It was probably closer than you'd like. It was good to see us come from behind. It was a really fun game. Honestly, a day of rest is not the worst thing for us."

Friday's rain also washed out the prospect of playing the Class B championship game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark as originally scheduled. Instead, both semifinals will be played Saturday at Shawnee High School, immediately followed by the championship at 4 p.m. No. 2 Drummond (34-6) plays the second semifinal at 1:30 p.m. against No. 3 Red Oak (27-8). The first semifinal has top-ranked Roff playing No. 4 Asher at 11 a.m.

Swart isn't concerned about having to turn around and play the championship immediately after the semifinal game if Drummond comes out on top against Red Oak. In fact, Swart sees some positives to it.

"We were faced with the same situation last fall (in the playoffs) and we were the ones who had to sit the middle game," he said. "I really think I would prefer to go ahead and play back-to-back as opposed to sitting. If you win that semifinal game, you are going to feel like you have some momentum and positive energy. I'm glad we play back-to-back. You don't get cold. You don't sit around and think about it. You just get right back after it."

Drummond and Red Oak are quite familiar with each other. The teams split a pair of games this season and have been postseason opponents on a frequent basis.

"This will be our fourth semifinal in a row and three of those four have been against Red Oak," Swart said. "We spent some time going over scouting them. They will give us all we want and we're going to do the same."

The Bulldogs will have a nearly full compliment of pitchers available today. "A day's rest probably hurt us less than anybody else," Swart said.

The bigger concern may be whether the field at Shawnee High School will be ready for Saturday's tripleheader after so much rain.

"If there's a way possible, we hope to get it in," Swart said. "From what I heard they have at least the infield apron tarped and I have been told the outfield can take a lot of water."

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