RING HUNTING: Tigers ready for State Tournament after strong Regional showing

May 4—Going into the State Tournament, Tahlequah Tigers baseball head coach, Cody Pair has one focus in mind: winning three games and taking home some really big rings.

After a season with over 20 wins, the Tigers used a combination of shutdown pitching and a hot offense to head to win the Regional Tournament. Over three games the Tigers averaged 9.6 runs per game over two wins over the Booker T. Washington Hornets and one over the Durant Lions.

"Capturing a regional title after a year of hard work feels incredibly rewarding and validating for our club," Pair said. "It's the culmination of dedication, perseverance, and teamwork of a great group of young men and assistant coaches. It makes all the sacrifices and efforts that the team and assistants have put in worthwhile."

While the Tigers won the three games by at least seven runs, it wasn't easy according to Pair. The Hornets put up a tough athletic front, while the Lions boast a strong, young pitching staff.

THS pitching and hitting were stride and stride over the Regional Tournament. While the hitters put up 29 runs, the pitchers only gave up a pair of runs.

"Our offensive production for the tournament was so good, that is what bodes well for next week. Our guys are playing hard, playing aggressive and playing confident," Pair said. "It was great for us not in the aspect that it was an easy regional but in the fact that we are playing really well and that gives us a lot of confidence going into the state tournament."

On the pitching side, Pair says the Tigers have been working all season to have a strong presence with its staff. This season THS picked up 10 shutout wins.

"Our pitching staff has made significant progress this season, continually improving on the mound and with mound presence," Pair said. "Our pitchers have shown great consistency and depth, I have always been told if you pitch it well you have a great chance to win and our guys have pitched it really well."

Getting to this point wasn't a mistake for the Tigers. Finishing with a 23-11 record, Pair made sure the Tigers faced a tough schedule this season. This season the Tigers lost just a trio of games to teams that were also in 5A, with most of their losses at the hands of 6A teams.

"The challenges we've encountered have fostered resilience and mental toughness, we have shown tremendous growth preparing us to handle pressure situations and perform at our best when it matters most," Pair said.

Playing a variety of teams has given the Tigers a chance to adapt their game to winning different situations.

"Playing a tough schedule has been immensely beneficial in preparing us for the postseason," Pair said. "It has exposed us to high levels of competition, forcing us to elevate our game and adapt to different styles of play. Facing top-tier teams has highlighted our strengths and areas for improvement, allowing us to sharpen our skills. Overall, the tough schedule has been invaluable in shaping us into a stronger and more competitive team as we approach this crucial part of the season."

The Tigers open the State Tournament on Thursday, May 9.

Their opponents will be announced once the Regional Tournaments wrap up.

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