NORMAN — Westmoore stood one victory away from an improbable end to an improbable season. After making it to their first state tournament in a decade, the Jaguars needed a single win to make it to the Class 6A championship game.
However, Bishop Kelley was on its own unlikely run when the two teams collide in the semifinals of the state tournament Friday at L. Dale Mitchell Field. It was the Comets who came out on top 5-2 to advance as the Jaguars were sent home.
“That guy (Max Simpson) threw a great game,” Westmoore coach Jarod Freeman said. “We made good adjustments. We competed hard. We had there in key situations and just didn’t come in.”
Trailing by three in the bottom of the seventh inning and two outs, Hunter Aguirre came to the plate with a chance to tie or win the game. The senior had allowed the Comets to score three runs in the top of the inning and could get it all back with one swing.
Unfortunately for Aguirre, Simpson threw a pitch he was unable to catch up with and struck out swinging to end the game.
“That’s a heck of a pitch that kid throws right there,” Freeman said. “It’s not a pitch down in the dirt, it’s not a pitch you can chase away. It’s a competitive pitch, changeup. Moving down and away from him. It’s a tough pitch for any left-hander to lay off of. As Hunter matures as a player and a hitter, he’s going to learn to lay off stuff like that.”
The Jaguars ended the season with a 31-9 record. But it’s the return to state that the players are most proud of.
“At the beginning of the season, there were a lot of doubters,” Aguirre said. “Nobody thought we’d be able to make it this far and have the success that we had. We proved that Westmoore baseball is back. It was 10 years since we made it back to the state tournament. We’re here now. I think Westmoore has a bright future. The teams out there watch out, because we’re coming.”