Edmond Santa Fe’s Ryan Lowery laced a one-out single into left field Sunday afternoon at Edmond North High School, scoring Cayden Brumbaugh in the top of the sixth inning to shatter a 6-all tie and ultimately setting the Wolves up for a Class 6A Region II Championship.
The win qualifies Edmond Santa Fe for this weekend’s Class 6A State Tournament.
Edmond Santa Fe head coach Ryan Phillips was animated after the win, excited for his team’s title and hopeful for the upcoming, single elimination state tournament.
“This season, for a lot of people in our clubhouse, has been a long season for a lot of reasons,” Phillips said. “That’s why it’s emotional. And these guys — we had people staying, we had people playing hurt, so it’s special to us.”
Lowery’s hit was a microcosm of the Wolves’ tenacity Sunday afternoon. In the bottom of the first inning, and after Edmond North leadoff Karsten Menard reached on single to left field. Santa Fe starting pitcher Conner Stevens then got an immediate and successful double-play ball after a duel with 2-hole Jansen Reeder. But the home plate umpire called Lowery for catcher’s interference, erasing the two recorded outs and putting Menard and Reeder back on first and second.
Menard and Reeder eventually scored in the inning after crossing home during Colby Entwistle’s two-RBI double to left field. Then, Entwistle scored on another Wolves error. Edmond Santa Fe had fallen into a 3-nil hole.
The opening of Sunday felt a lot like the closing of Saturday. Then playing in a tied game — with a win sending Santa Fe to state with an extra day of rest — a Wolves’ error and an errant pitch hitting North’s Kruz Simons loaded the bases before a pitch slipped into the backstop, allowing Edmond North to walk off and force Sunday’s contest on three Edmond Santa Fe mishaps.
But Sunday was different. Immediately Lowery and Co. answered back, with the catcher hitting in his first plate appearance a batter after Jase White reached on an issued walk. Senior Braden Reichert singled to advance the pair to scoring position, and Stevens — still on the mound defensively — helped himself out by scoring in White.
Seconds later, Dom Johnson hit a two-RBI single, scoring Lowery from third and Reichert from second. It was an even ballgame again.
Two more Santa Fe runs came in the third, with White hitting in Trace Ford. Ford had reached on a leadoff bunt, and took second on a no contest steal before using his speed to score from two bags out when White hit into left field. White would eventually score in the inning, too, crossing on an error from Edmond North’s infield.
Finally, in the fourth, Johnson slapped a leadoff double before scoring on an Edmond North balk. The lead was 6-3.
But the Huskies weren’t done Sunday, either. They rattled off their own three-run, game-tying inning in the bottom of the fifth. After the first three Husky batters — Jackie Robinson, Colby Entwistle and Carter Hines — reached on a single and two walks, Simons hit a two RBI single that curved just out of reach of the sprinting left-fielder Ford. Moments later, Menard drew a bases-loaded, full-count, two-out walk to tie the game.
But Lowery immediately entered, knocking his third hit — and the ultimate decider — of the game Sunday, scoring Cayden Brumbaugh with a screamer to left after Brumbaugh had reached on an error and ultimately advanced to third on a wild pitch.
“Ryan has been great at the plate all year,” Phillips said, bragging of his catcher’s strong mentality. “If you were in the dugout after that first inning you wouldn’t have seen a change. He’s pretty even-keel, and that’s really good for a catcher.”
With Lowery leading with a game-best three hits, teammate Dom Johnson finished right behind 2-for-3, two-RBI day. Jase White (2-2, RBI), Braiden Reichert (2-4) and Conner Stevens (2-4, RBI, 2B) also had multiple hits for Edmond Santa Fe in the series and title clinching win.
“We’re just proud of them,” Phillips ended. “And hats off to Edmond North. Coach Bandy is a good coach and they have some good players — that’s another reason why we’re so excited.”
No Husky had a multi-hit day, but Menard, Robinson, Entwistle, Simons and Noah Miller would scatter five hits between the pentad, with Entwistle and Simons each splitting four of the team’s five RBIs in the single-run defeat.