High school senior baseball players certainly got the short end of the bat in 2020.
Many teams, including those in Rogers County, played fewer than 10 games, and no state champions were crowned. It was an unfortunate reality endured by thousands of prep athletes across the country.
However, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic won’t keep those seniors off the diamond for much longer.
The Tulsa Drillers and the Tulsa Area Baseball Coaches Association announced Thursday the High School Senior Baseball Series will be held on Fourth of July weekend at ONEOK Field in Tulsa.
The two-game series will start at 7 p.m. both nights and feature postgame fireworks. The East and West teams will battle on Friday, July 3, and the North faces the South on the nation’s birthday.
"I would like to thank the Tulsa Drillers for reaching out to our association and hosting our annual All-Star Game,” Pat Foster, who is the Metro Christian baseball coach and TABCA president, said in a Tulsa Drillers press release. “This gives many seniors in the Tulsa area who lost their season a chance to play another game."
Trevor Janzen of Claremore — who is an Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association All-Stater — will join players from Glenpool, Jenks, Edison, Pryor and Metro Christian on the East team.
Meanwhile, the crew of Austin Neal, Colton Anderson, Toby Willis, Sloan Roller and Brent Olson will represent Verdigris on the North team, which will feature players from Bishop Kelley, Sand Springs, Owasso, Victory Christian, Liberty and Coweta.
Neal and Roller are also OBCA All-Staters.
“The Drillers are glad to make ONEOK Field available for these great matchups and to give senior baseball players a final chance to play high school baseball in front of their family and friends,” Drillers president Mike Melega said in the press release. “We hope to make it a pair of special evenings for everyone involved, capped by giant holiday fireworks displays both nights.”
A limited number of tickets are available for fans interested in attending the festivities. ONEOK Field will be held to less than half of its normal capacity of 7,833 to ensure social distancing and other COVID-19 restrictions are upheld.
Tickets — which are now on sale at the ONEOK Field Ticket Office and online — are priced at $12 for Homeplate Premium, $10 for Field Reserved and $6 for General Admission.