CLAREMORE, OKLA. Free State High baseball coach Mike Hill said the Firebirds traveled to the Four-State Festival this weekend for experience against solid competition.
Free State's 8-7 loss Friday to Fayetteville (Ark.) High, Hill said, was a learning experience.
The Firebirds led, 7-0, after an inning and a half before the bottom dropped out. Fayetteville cranked out eight runs over the next six innings, and Free State (3-1) couldn't keep up its early offensive intensity.
"I was pleased with the way we started, up 7-0," Hill said. "We just kind of stopped. We have to understand it's a seven-inning game."
Jake Hoover led the Firebirds at the plate, going 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Robby Price was 2-for-4 as well, adding two runs and two RBIs.
Travis Blankenship (0-1) picked up the loss for Free State, which will play Shawnee (Okla.) at noon today.
"We came here to see some different competition and some outstanding competition," Hill said. "These teams have already played 15-20 ballgames, and we're on our fourth, so we grow up quick down here."
Fayetteville, Ark., High 8,
Free State 7
Free State 250 000 0 -- 7 9 2
Fayetteville 021 210 2 -- 8 8 2
W -- Smith. L -- Travis Blankenship, 0-1.
2B -- FSHS: Jake Hoover, Brett Lisher.
FSHS highlights: Robby Price 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Jake Hoover 2-for-4, 4 RBIs; Brett Lisher 2-for-4, RBI.