With Class A-4A playoffs opening in Oklahoma today PG highlights some of the top teams and players in each class and makes its pick for each class. Check out part I of the preview breaking down Class 5A and 6A here.
Class 4A (Bracket)
Berryhill- While they were overmatched against Owasso in the two meetings with the Rams, the experience of playing elite competition should serve the Chiefs well in the tournament. Had a very good regular season for the most part and they'll need to carry that momentum in the playoffs.
Fort Gibson- The second seed in the tournament has been stingy on opponents, and they will need their pitching and defense to continue to be sharp if they want to hoist the trophy. They've both been dependable of late and that is a very good sign for the Tigers.
Players to Watch
Adrian Houser, RHP/OF, Locust Grove- In some classes Houser would be one of the top pitchers in the state, tall lean righty who throws very hard (up to 94 a PG events last summer) with a hammer curveball. Can swing the bat as well.
Zack Postoak, RHP/, Berryhill- The senior will be plenty motivated this year after losing a pitchers duel to Dillon Overton in last year's championship game. He's been used more often as a relief ace for the Chiefs, if Berryhill finds themselves in a tough spot expect to see Postoak called upon to bail them out.
Woodward- Drawing top seed Berryhill is really tough and if they pull the upset the road won't get much easier with the winner of Mannford and Anadarko in the second round.
Cache- Locust Grove will be a tough first round draw and Fort Gibson in the second round would be no picnic either. If Berryhill gets knocked off early Cache could potentially play its most winnable game in the championship.
Locust Grove- Winners of six straight entering the tournament and a recent win over 2-seed Fort Gibson makes them a dangerous team that wouldn't be out of place in the favorite category but their low seed and tough draw puts them in the sleeper category.
Cache- Went 9-1 down the stretch and have been scoring a lot of runs. They'll have their hands full with Locust Grove in the first round, the winner of that matchup could make a deep run.
Tough to pick against Berryhill after the regular season they put together and with their playoff experience from last year's run to the title game. But we think Locust Grove will surprise people and take home the hardware thanks to their pitching.
Class 3A (Bracket)
Eufaula- The Ironheads have dominated all year en route to a 28-3 record and the #1 ranking in 3A. They are a heavy favorite in the top half of the bracket.
Sperry- The Pirates looked strong in their regional tournament and having won three of the past five state championships this is an experienced program.
Sperry/Morris- Getting Morris in the opening round is tough for both schools. Morris had the better overall regular season but Sperry played better down the stretch. Will be an interesting first round matchup and the winner may very well wind up in the title game.
Chandler- Eufala is a tough first round draw, Jones in the second round would be tough as well. They're playing well at the right time but they will have their work cut out for them.
Jones- The Longhorns have been strong coming down the stretch and don't rely on just one or two good hitters, their well balanced lineup will make them dangerous.
Verdigris- The Cardinals struggled a bit late in the year but their experience from playing top teams like 6A Broken Arrow will help, the 2-seed is going to be a tough draw for Sperry or Morris.
Can't overlook the good work Eufaula has done all season, we're going with the top seed in this one.
Class 2A (Bracket)
Silo- Allowed just two runs over their final five games, while piling up 62. If you overlook a rough stretch in early April they have been a dominant force in 2A.
Dale- Won of eight of their last nine (loss was to 3A contender Jones) to finish 23-5 on the year and earn a #2 seed.
Frederick- They draw Dale in the first round, if they get to the second round Christian Heritage could be another tough draw..
Haskell- Flanked by strong teams in the bracket, they get Silo in the first round, Newkirk would be a tough game in the second round matchup.
Newkirk- With wins in thirteen of their last fourteen games down the stretch Newkirk hasn't played many close games of late. It will be interesting to see if winning big will actually hurt since they haven't been challenged in a while. That is the only question mark with this team.
Christian Heritage Academy- Sophomore Bryant Hodge has had a huge year for the Crusaders hitting .461 with 16 XBH and going 8-2 with a 1.44 ERA and 136 Ks over 63 2/3 innings. There has been some inconsistency but the Crusaders are very talented.
Silo's dominant play of late makes them the pick even though there are several strong contenders in this field.
Class A :
Roff 6, Okarche 2
Red Oak 13, Granite 1
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