With Class 5A and 6A opening the state playoffs in Oklahoma today PG highlights some of the top teams and players in each class and makes its pick for each class. Check back tomorrow for Part II for Class A-4A.
Perfect Game will provide live coverage of the semifinals and State Championship games of the 6A tournament on Friday and Saturday including free real-time scoring updates via Gamechanger available for free.
Class 6A (Bracket)
Owasso- The top ranked team in the nation is looking to make up for last year's loss in the state championship. The Rams have more than just Dylan Bundy, with a deep pitching staff and standout C Drew Stiner providing an excellent supporting cast to the best pitcher in America.
Broken Arrow- The Tigers have the firepower to match Owasso, with a deep pitching staff of their own that is led by yet another elite level pitching prospect from Oklahoma in Archie Bradley.
Players to Watch
Dylan Bundy, RHP/3B, Owasso- Everytime Bundy has started a game, he has thrown a complete game and won every time. Also a high level hitter who gives the Rams the offensive presence to compete in games when he isn't available to pitch.
Archie Bradley, RHP, Broken Arrow- Its crazy that a player with Bradley's talent gets overlooked a bit because of Bundy but the two sport star is a likely first round pick in the MLB Draft next month for a reason.
Clayton Blackburn, RHP/1B, Edmond Santa Fe- Big bodied hard throwing righty with a solid three pitch arsenal will be an important part of the Wolves' hopes to knock off Owasso in Bracket A.
Yukon- They start off with the top ranked team in the country and they also draw the third ranked team in the state (Edmond Santa Fe) on the same side. One of the toughest draws in the nation.
Choctaw- They run into Archie Bradley right off the bat and Jenks won't be an easy draw either if they run into them in Bracket B at some point.
Santa Fe- They're the only team in the state to beat either of the two favorites, knocking off Broken Arrow 6-5 a couple weeks back. That game will be huge for their confidence. It won't be a false confidence either, this is a dangerous team that can topple a favorite if they are overlooked.
Jenks- Went 22-9 in the regular season, capped
off by an impressive win streak. They're the favorites against Putnam
City North in the opener, after that they will have to find a way to
knock off Broken Arrow.
Very tough call here, could go either way but we're going to go with the higher ranked team, with Owasso knocking off Broken Arrow in a hard fought championship game.
Class 5A (Bracket)
Bishop Kelley- Looking to end a frustrating run in which they've been eliminated in the semifinals four straight years since their 2006 state championship. At 24-7 they look like they might find their way back to the title game.
Deer Creek- Only a 1-0 loss to 6A Santa Fe separated the Antlers from a 23 game winning streak to conclude the regular season. They've been scoring a lot of runs but its the pitching thats been most impressive, having allowed one run or less in five of the last six.
Players to Watch
Michael Fulmer, RHP, Deer Creek- Live armed righty who can run his fastball into the 90s with a hard 12-6 curveball and a solid changeup that he can use if needed. Top arm in the 5A bracket and Deer Creek will be tough to beat when he's on the mound.
A.J. Wilson, 3B, Carl Albert- Hit a team high 14 Home Runs and drove in an impressive 61 runs (37 games) to pace a well balanced offense.
Ardmore- They'll have their work cut out facing the #1 ranked 5A team in the state in the opener and if that wasn't enough of a challenge they have third ranked Pryor on the same side as well.
Bishop Kelley- Being the two seed didn't provide much relief in the bracket pairing as they'll be tested right away with a dangerous Guthrie team that went 27-10 in the regular season and has won five of their last six.
Carl Albert- Bracket B is somewhat wide open, while Bishop Kelley is a talented squad they'll have their work cut out with three other solid and capable teams. Carl Albert looks like the second best team in a bracket that looks to be up for grabs.
Deer Creek has everything on paper you look for in a champion: good pitching, a winning streak heading into the tournament and a strong showing in the regular season.
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