EDMOND — As the lone senior on the Noble baseball team, Jimmy Wood was going to do whatever it took to make the school’s first state baseball tournament appearance in 18 years last a while.
And he sure backed it up with performance. Wood gave the Bears 4 2-3 innings of shutout relief pitching and drove in all three runs Thursday, including the game winner in the top of the 7th inning, lifting Noble past Deer Creek 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A State Tournament at Edmond Santa Fe.
“I just wanted it,” Wood said. “This is everything we’ve worked for. I’m just trying to do anything I can to keep us going.”
The Bears broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh to win it. Braden Buol singled to left-center, then moved up on a perfect sacrifice bunt by nine-hole hitter Alec Venegas.
Wood didn’t wait long from there, crushing Deer Creek reliever Ben Heigle’s first pitch to deep left-center for a double, easily scoring Buol.
“He had thrown me three straight curve balls the first time and I struck out, so I knew that was what was coming,” Wood said.
From there it came down to Wood’s right arm. He has worked primarily in short relief late in games for the Bears but on this day was called on earlier by Coach Brad Anglin. The Antlers had tied the game at 2-2 in the third and still had the bases loaded with just one out off starter Derek Underwood, outstanding to this point of the season in getting the Bears here.
No worries, as Wood struck out Tucker Fox and Peyton Blass to get out of it.
“Normally I come in for the sixth or seventh inning, but today it was just about doing what I had to,” Wood said.