ENID, Okla. — Coming off a Connie Mack South Plains Regional championship, it would be reasonable to consider the Enid Majors a clear favorite in the Connie Mack Oklahoma State Tournament, which begins Wednesday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
However, Enid Majors head coach Kris Webb isn't buying it.
"I wouldn’t say that," Webb said on Tuesday. "The (Woodward) Travelers in our pool are really good. Bartlesville, I know we beat them a couple of times, but they have never been fully healthy when we played them. Shockers (Black) … I’m scared of every team in my pool. And in the other pool, with the Drillers and the (Shockers) Red and Burkburnett and the Plainsmen ... the Plainsmen have got good pitching. I don’t know.
"Clear favorite? I don’t think so. I think baseball is a crazy game and anybody can win this thing."
One thing both the Majors (19-3) and Plainsmen will have going for them, outside of home field advantage, is familiarity with the field. The only team in the 8-team field that either Majors or Plainsmen haven't played this year are the Burkburnett (Texas) Black Sox.
"It's a lot nicer than having to play teams you have no clue about," Webb said. "We've seen these guys, we know what they're about and what kind of players we have. When we played some of these teams (in the Connie Mack South Plains Regional), from Missouri and Texas, you had no clue what you were getting into."
The Majors will be seeking their third state tournament title, but first since 2016. The Majors won back-to-back in 2015 and 2016. The Woodward Travelers also will be seeking a third state crown, having won in 2012 and 2014. The other past winner in the field are the Shockers, who won 2017. Last year's champion, MVP Seng, is not in this year's field.
Webb said the team is feeling confident coming off last week's regional title which qualified them for next week's Connie Mack Classic, but isn't spending too much time basking in their championship.
"Absolutely (winning the championship feels good)," Webb said. "Absolutely, but as good of an accomplishment as it was, and it was a great accomplishment, don't get me wrong, we've got to turn the page and we've got to focus on this goal."
The Majors open play in the state tournament Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. against Shockers Black.
Plainsmen set for season finale
The Enid Plainsmen (16-5) went 1-2 in last week's regional tournament, but rallied after dropping their first two games to finish with the No. 6 seed to clinch a spot in the playoffs. But the weather didn't cooperate as their game with the eventual champion Enid Majors was canceled due to storms and the Majors advanced based on being the higher seed.
"It was heartbreaking for our kids, I know, but there's not much we can do about it," said Plainsmen head coach Brad Gore on Tuesday. "It's just how it fell this time and it was unfortunate. We would have liked to have played but then we wouldn't have been able to finish the tournament on Sunday and you can't have teams playing three games in one day."
This week's state tournament will be the season finale for the Plainsmen. Gore said he has seen the development he was hoping to see out of his high school team.
"We've slowly, every day gotten just a little bit better," Gore said. "We have established a lot of things that will be crucial for us come next spring. Leadership roles, pitching roles, defense roles and even some of the younger kids have really developed on the White (JV) team and are pushing for playing time."
The Plainsmen have showed consistently this summer that they are more than capable of competing against some of the older competition they have faced and Gore sees that as a plus for this week's state tournament.
"If we play and do our thing we can hang in there with anybody," he said. "We're just glad we got to play some more and I think our kids are excited for the state tournament. I think it will be a lot of fun."
The Plainsmen take on Shockers Red at noon Wednesday in the tournament opener.
Admission for the Connie Mack Oklahoma State Tournament is $7 per day.
Saturday All-State games
There will be no Saturday games played in the Connie Mack Oklahoma State Tournament due to the Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association's prep All-State games being held the same day in Oklahoma City at Bricktown Ballpark.
The All-State games were originally scheduled to be played at David Allen.
The large schools (Classes 5A to 6A) play Saturday at 11 a.m., followed by the small school (A-B) game at 2 p.m. and the middle school (4A to 2A) game at 5 p.m.
Plainsmen alumni Conner Gore (Enid Majors, Oklahoma State) and Colby Jarnagin (MVP Seng, Cowley County) will participate in the large school game at 11 a.m.
Connie Mack State Tournament
At David Allen Memorial Ballpark
Pool A : Enid Plainsmen, Shockers Red, OK Drillers, Burkburnett (Texas) Black Sox
Pool B: Enid Majors, Shockers Black, Woodward Travelers, Bartlesville Indians
Noon — Enid Plainsmen vs. Shockers Red
2:30 p.m. — Enid Majors vs. Shockers Black
5 p.m. — OK Drillers vs. Burkburnett
7:30 p.m. — Woodward vs. Bartlesville
Noon — Burkburnett vs. Shockers Red
2:30 p.m. — Bartlesville vs. Shockers Black
5 p.m. — Enid Plainsmen vs. OK Drillers
7:30 p.m. — Enid Majors vs. Woodward
Noon — Burkburnett vs. Enid Plainsmen
2:30 p.m. — Bartlesville vs. Enid Majors
5 p.m. — Shockers Black vs. Woodward
7:30 p.m. — Shockers Red vs. OK Drillers
No games due to All-State games
10 a.m. — 7th place game
12:30 p.m. — 5th place game
3 p.m. — 3rd place game
5:30 p.m. — Championship game
2011 OKC Sandlot
2012 Woodward Travelers
2013 OKC Sandlot
2014 Woodward Travelers
2015 Enid Majors
2016 Enid Majors
2017 SW Shockers
2018 OKC Sandlot
2019 MVP Seng