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– BY MICHAEL KNIGHT
The state tournament begins in 6A-2A on Thursday in the Oklahoma City area. OKPreps has been getting you ready with in-depth previews on each tournament with team capsules, storylines to follow and predictions. You can see them all at the bottom of this post. But let’s talk about star power, and we have it this week in the various classes. Here we take a look at five players to watch as they head into the state tournament on Thursday.
Mitchell Stone – Pitcher – Deer Creek
Deer Creek lefty Mitchell Stone has been dominant all season and is one of the more physically imposing players in the state tournament. Standing 6’8 and armed with a fastball that burns by batters, Stone is one of the top pitchers not only in Oklahoma but will be a prospect to watch in the upcoming Major League Baseball draft. He’s looking to lead Deer Creek back to the 6A state championship game. They made it there last year but fell short to Edmond Memorial. On the season, he’s 8-1 with a 1.92 ERA. He’s struck out 85 batters in just 47 innings of work this year. At the plate, he’s batting .370 with 9 home runs, 39 RBI’s and 23 runs scored on the season. The Oklahoma State commit is definitely one to watch this week.
Tanner Sparks – Pitcher – Shawnee
Yet another Oklahoma State commit to make the list. All Tanner Sparks has done is help Shawnee win 49 consecutive games dating back to last year and bring a perfect 37-0 record into the state tournament. While Shawnee has risen up national rankings all season long, Sparks has gotten some national recognition. He’s a finalist for the USA Today Player Of The Year award. It’s pretty easy to see why when you look at the numbers. He’s been dominant on the mound, with a perfect 9-0 record on the year. He has an ERA under 1 and has struck out 61 batters in 44 innings of work this season. At the plate, he’s equally dangerous. He’s batting .508 with 12 home runs and 78 RBI’s and 49 runs scored on the season.
Brett Owen – Shortstop – Blanchard
One of the more electric players to watch this week will be Blanchard shortstop Brett Owen. He’s the perfect mix of power and speed and has become absolutely fun to watch. Owen is part of a loaded Blanchard lineup that can dismantle opposing pitching staffs. On the season, Owen is batting an astonishing .582 with 16 home runs and 63 RBI’s. Signed with Kansas State, Owen has already showed off the power he’s added to his game. In a win over Bishop Kelley earlier this season, Owen hit three home runs in the contest. Owen isn’t the only threat in the Blanchard lineup. Also look out for Cade Stephens, an Arkansas-Little Rock signee who has hit a school-record 19 home runs with 70 RBI’s on the year.
Roman Phansalkar – Pitcher – Heritage Hall
Roman Phansalkar has been a huge part of the championship runs made by Heritage Hall in 2015 and 2016. He’s helped lead the Chargers to back to back titles and he’s now looking to go out on top with a three peat. At the plate, Phansalkar is batting just shy of .400 with 9 home runs and 29 RBI’s. He’s done the majority of his damage this season, and the last few years, on the mound. The Heritage Hall ace has started eight games for the Chargers this season and has given up just two earned runs. He’s also pitched for them in relief and don’t be surprised to see that this week. On the year, the Arizona signee has struck out 69 batters and given up just 30 hits. He had a no hitter earlier this season against Tecumseh.
Foster Roy – Pitcher/Outfielder – Metro Christian
Metro Christian senior Foster Roy helped lead the Patriots to the state championship game a season ago and is looking to do the same thing this year. He has been dominant for the Patriots all season and stepped his game up to another level last week in their regional championship victory over Cascia Hall. In an 8-1 win to punch their ticket to state, Roy gave up just one hit and struck out 17 Cascia Hall batters. The Richmond signee is 7-1 on the season and has given up just 11 earned runs all season. He’s struck out 83 batters in 47 1/3 innings pitched. At the plate, he’s batting .312 with 29 RBI’s on the year. Roy is part of a Metro team that returns eight starters from last year’s championship game. They’re hungry to get the job done this week.
STATE TOURNEY PREVIEWS