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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Bowker goes 10 to lead Plainview into semis

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  • EDMOND — If there's a team that can overcome James Bowker's will, it has yet to present itself.
    In a season filled with spectacular performances, the senior put together his best yet, throwing 150 pitches over 10 innings for Plainview to pull out a thrilling 2-1 victory over Catoosa in the Class 4A state quarterfinals at Edmond Memorial on Thursday.
    It was Plainview's 15th consecutive win, and Bowker's 12th, and biggest, of the season.
    "That performance is one of the best, if not the best, I've ever seen on the mound," Indians coach Brent Hackney said. "I wasn't going to take him out until the rule book told me I could.
    "You think he would have let me take him out anyways?"
    Bowker remained a beacon of consistency throughout the performance, his fastball still blazing at 89 miles per hour as he recorded his ninth strikeout in the final frame.
    He even had the defensive wherewithal to stoop down and grab the final grounder before flipping to first base for the last out.
    "I just looked up at one point and it was the eighth inning," Bowker said. "I really wasn't even thinking about it, I was just playing.
    "It was just a game to us."
    Bowker even came through with one of the biggest at-bats of the game in the sixth inning, lacing a two-out RBI single to right field that tied the game at 1-1 and set the stage for extra innings.
    While James was putting together his magnum opus on the mound, his brother, junior outfielder Carter, provided two of the game's most memorable highlights in extra innings.
    The first, in the bottom of the ninth, was a diving catch in right field with one out that allowed the Indians to double up an aggressive Catoosa baserunner at first.
    Seconds later, the younger Bowker slapped a leadoff single before reaching second base on a sacrifice bunt from Gus Wells. Carter Bowker later scored what turned out to be the game-winning run on a single by Jordan Rickets.
    "It was an amazing feeling," Carter Bowker said. "I can't even describe it."
    For Rickets, batting out of the No. 9 hole and finishing 2-for-4 on the day, it was one of the most triumphant moments of his young career.
    "I was just thinking 'please be through, please be through,'" Rickets said. "When it was finally over, I just wanted to go and hug James."
    For the Indians, it will be the second straight trip to a state baseball semifinal. Plainview will take on Byng at 4 p.m. today, a team it beat 14-4 earlier this season.
    Page 2 of 2 - Not that Hackney will be taking anything for granted.
    "These kids are not going to let us down, and they're not going to let each other down," Hackney said. "They're a great group of kids and I love being around them."
    Follow White on Twitter: @swhiteARD
    ——
    OSSAA State Tournamemt
    THURSDAY
    Byng 7, Piedmont 3
    Tuttle 4, Weatherford 2
    Plainview 2, Catoosa 1
    Berryhill vs. Dewey, (n)
    TODAY
    Semifinals (at Edmond Memorial HS)
    Byng vs. Plainview, 4 p.m.
    Berryhill-Dewey winner vs. Tuttle, 6:30 p.m.
    SATURDAY
    Championship (at Shawnee HS)
    Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m.

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