CLAREMORE, OKLA. Free State High's baseball squad saved its best for last Friday in the April State Festival.
The Firebirds, shut out on two hits through six innings, scored twice on three hits in the bottom of the seventh for 2-1 victory over Rogers, Ark. Sophomore Andy Petz delivered the game-winner, a one-out, two-run single.
Jake Hoover pitched a four-hitter for Free State, allowing just an unearned run in the sixth innings. Hoover struck out eight without allowing a walk and has fanned 15 batters and walked none in 10 innings this season.
One-out singles by Hoover and Scott Heitshusen started the Firebirds' rally in the seventh. Cory Cooper then reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases, setting the stage for Petz's game-winning single up the middle.
"Jake Hoover was fantastic," Free State coach Mike Hill said. "Without him, we're not in that situation. He showed what being a pitcher's all about. You've got to be pretty happy for sophomore Andy Petz to come through in that situation."
The Firebirds (3-0) will play Claremore (16-1) at 2:30 p.m. today.
|Rogers||000||001||0 -- 1 4 0|
|Free State||000||000||2 -- 2 5 1|
|W--Jake Hoover (1-0). L--Matt Wolfe.|