By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — State baseball tournament brackets were released on Monday, giving both area teams competing several days to prepare for their first-round opponent.
Norman North will throw the first pitch at 11 a.m. Thursday at Shawnee as the Timberwolves face off against Bishop Kelley in the first round. In the Class 5A bracket, Noble will take on Deer Creek at the same time at Edmond Santa Fe.
North (25-8) advance to the state tournament after defeating Southmoore on Friday for the fourth time this season. The Timberwolves will face off against the surprise team of the tournament in the Comets (12-17), who squeaked past Mustang in regionals to advance. Bishop Kelley played one of the tougher schedules in the state, including a pair of games against top-ranked Owasso, which sits on the opposite side of the state tournament bracket.
North and Bishop Kelley didn't meet this year, both schools have several opponents in common this season. North lost games to Tuttle and Stillwater, while Bishop Kelley also dropped one to Tuttle in the regular season while splitting games against Stillwater. But the Comets avenged that loss in the regional tournament, knocking off ninth-ranked Stillwater on their way to state.
In Class 5A, powerhouse Noble (32-4) lived up to expectations in the regional tournament and advanced to state in convincing fashion. The Bears put up 28 runs in the first game of the tournament against East Central and also cruised to an 11-1 victory over Booker T. Washington before meeting up for a rematch with Booker T. Washington in the finals, where Noble pulled out an 8-5 victory to qualify for state.
Deer Creek (27-8) will match the Bears with another high-powered offense. The Antlers scored 46 times in three regional games, including a 16-1 victory over Lawton Macarthur in the final.
While Deer Creek played against more Class 6A schools than Noble did, the two teams share just one common opponent in Shawnee. The Bears defeated Shawnee (16-15) 7-2 last week while Deer Creek won two games over the Wolves by a combined score of 23-4.
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