Rosepine champs: Eagles deep-Frey Doyle to claim first title

Rodrick Anderson

SULPHUR — The tying run was on base, and Rosepine’s Ethan Frey was dangerously close to the pitch-count limit in the Class 2A state championship game Friday, but the junior committed to LSU didn’t flinch.

He recorded his 12th strikeout to send the No. 2 Eagles into a frenzy and their first state championship in program history, 1-0 over No. 1 Doyle.

Frey was named the game’s most outstanding player after pitching a complete game. He held the Tigers (28-9) to four hits.

“I saw my pitch count and I knew I had to finish it for my team,” Frey said. “This is what we wanted. We prepared all year for this. I just knew I had to grind it to get that last out.”

Normally behind the plate throwing out baserunners, Frey turned in his longest outing on the mound this season and got better as the game went on. He retired 12 the final 14 batters he faced, including six strikeouts in the final two innings working the outside corner of the plate.

“That performance right there is what it is all about,” Rosepine head coach Jeff Smith said. “When you get in that spotlight and get in that big moment, players make plays.

“Ethan got in there and got it done. He is special. He is a high-profile guy, but he is humble, and he is hungry.”

It was Smith’s first state title in 23 years of coaching.

“I can’t even describe it,” Smith said. “I don’t even really know what to say.

“I am happy for our community and our kids. It is a dream come true. I don’t guess it defines you as a person, but boy, it sure does put the icing on the cake as far as a coaching career and what we do at Rosepine High School.

“We knew it was going to be a fight coming in. Their pitcher (Andrew Yuratich), what a performance by him. Coach (Wayne Johnson) does a great job with those guys. They will be back, and hopefully, we will be back.”

Yuratich was equally impressive, holding the Eagles (29-5) to three hits with eight strikeouts and three walks.

The only time the Eagles got a leadoff batter on was in the sixth inning, and they made it count. Logan Calcote led off with a double to left field, and Grant Ducote followed with a single to right field. Calcote saw the green light and raced home to score the game’s lone run.

“I honestly can’t describe it. It felt like everything was moving in slow motion,” Calcote said. “It was amazing. It feels awesome. Me and my friends have been playing since we were itty bitty in T-ball. In seventh grade we said we were going to win a state championship. It is an awesome feeling.”

Ducote was the Eagles’ top hitter at the state tournament, batting .714 with three RBIs, including 4-for-4 in the semifinals.

“The guy (Ducote) goes 4-for-4 the other day in the semis, we got Calcote on with a clutch double, and I thought about bunting him over to third,” Smith said. “This guy was 4-for-4 in the semi, we are going to roll with it. He comes in clutch. What a performance by those two.”

Doyle left two runners in scoring position in the second and third innings. Braden Keen got to second on a single and stolen base in the sixth inning with one out, but Frey struck out back-toback batters to leave Keen stranded.

””

Pitcher Ethan Frey and head coach Jeff Smith celebrate after Rosepine outdueled Doyle 1-0 to win the Class 2A state championship at the state baseball tournament Friday at McMurry Park in Sulphur.

Rick Hickman / American Press””

Logan Calcote scores the game’s lone run in the top of the sixth inning in Rosepine’s victory over Doyle in the Class 2A championship game at the state baseball tournament at McMurry Park in Sulphur.

Rick Hickman / American Press

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