Former Racer makes it to the big leagues.
Story written by Max Terrell and posted to the website by Ryan Croft.
The Houston Astros drafted former Newcastle Racer Dean Deetz Saturday, June 7, in round 11 of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft.
Various major league draft websites and analysts ranked Deetz as a top 200 player in the country coming into draft day.
He suffered an ulnar collateral ligament injury (UCL) that made him miss the 2013 season after requiring Tommy John's surgery. Tommy John's surgery is a procedure that replaces the UCL with a tendon from another part of the body.
"It was hard coming off surgery," Deetz said. "I pushed myself everyday so that I could eventually make my dream come true and play professionally."
The Newcastle Racers baseball team beat the 10th-ranked Harrah Panthers Saturday to be third in the overall season rankings with a 19-8 record.
The boys will play Classen School of Advanced Studies in the district competition.
“I expect us to win,” Racers baseball coach Mike Crosley said. “Classen is not the strongest of teams and we shouldn’t have any problem with them.”
The team’s play has improved but its defense will need to be more consistent to make it to regionals, Crosley said.
At times we can really swing it well, he said. We’re showing signs of being a really good ball club but, at times, we’re our own worst enemies.
The girl’s softball team lost its final district game Thursday to Little Axe, finishing 14-20 for the season.
“The loss in the 5th game of districts was very disappointing,” softball coach Byron Mooney said in a written statement to the Pacer. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t hit the ball very well or score many runs.”
The Lady Racers were 4-2 early in the season, before sliding into a 12-game losing streak.
The team regained some of its momentum later in the season, going on to win the White bracket championship in the Harrah Tournament.
Playing consistently well was the main problem and it is what the team will work to improve in the future, Mooney said.
Going 5-2 after their last home game, the Newcastle Racers had the beginnings of a nice streak when they returned to the Racer baseball complex Monday, going 3-0 in their last three games.
It was not to be as the Racers fell 7-5 to Mt. Saint Mary's in extra innings Mar. 31 in Newcastle.
It is the second loss to the Rockets (5-5) this season after a 5-3 loss Mar. 10. The game was moved to Newcastle after re-sodding at Mt. Saint Mary's forced the game's relocation.
The Racers (7-4) were riding high after their three-game road win streak, with the most recent victory coming Mar. 29 at Rush Springs.
"It was a good win," Newcastle Head Coach Mike Crossley said. "They were 12-0, but they got beat the night before we played them ... They were 25-6 last year and didn't graduate any kids. It was a game that scared me a little bit, I admit."
Crossley hailed relief pitcher Eric Strangefeld and batter Keith Tarver for the 10-5 win over Rush Springs, considering the game came the day after prom.
Pitching remains a concern for Crossley as the Racers approach the midpoint of their season.
"We're awfully young on the mound," Crossley said. "Two of our main pitchers we used last year graduated, so it's a gradual process of building that pitching staff, making it better."
Crossley also hopes that hitting improves with the changing seasons.
"As the weather warms up, the bats warm up," he said.
The Racers remain in healthy shape as they prepare for the Newcastle Invitational tournament, beginning when Newcastle takes on Little Axe 11 a.m. April 3 at the Racer baseball complex.
Other teams participating include Latta, Classen SAS, Bridge Creek, Purcell, Christian Heritage and Community Christian School.
The Racers are 3-1 against the tournament field. Thursday will be the team's only meeting with Little Axe. The Racers lost 6-5 to Christian Heritage on the championship game of the Little Axe tournament Mar. 22, have notched two wins over Bridge Creek Mar. 7 and 20, and scored a 22-7 win over Community Christian Mar. 24.
While the rest of Newcastle High School was off for spring break, Racer head coach Mike Crossley and the Racer baseball team travelled to Little Axe for the annual Little Axe Invitational baseball tournament.
After advancing to the finals on wins over Bridge Creek and Lindsay, the Racers faltered as they fell to Christian Heritage.
“We didn’t play bad in the finals, we did pretty good,” Crossley said. “We can still improve. We’re getting better with time.”
The Racers (4-3) opened the tournament with a rematch against opening-day foe Bridge Creek. After throttling the Bobcats 21-2 on Mar. 7, the Racers faced stiffer competition from their rural rivals before putting them away 7-5 on Mar. 20.
On Mar. 22, the Racers faced Class 3A Lindsay for the first time in the season, smashing the Leopards 13-3. Newcastle will have a road rematch at Lindsay Mar. 27.
Finally, Newcastle lost to Community Christian, a 2A school, 5-3 on Mar. 24.
While the Racers ability to hit the ball consistantly has improved steadily with time, Crossley’s young pitching staff remains a work in progress, he said.
The Racers played a rematch at Community Christian on Monday, Mar. 24, however a score was not reported before press time Tuesday.
Playing their first game of the 2014 season, Mike Crossley and his Newcastle Racer baseball team was looking to set a tone for the entire season when they welcomed Bridge Creek in their home opener Mar. 7.
What a tone they set.
The Racers (1-1) flattened the Bobcats 21-2 in a run rule-shortened first game at the Racer baseball complex.
“We started relaxing towards the end, swinging the bat a little better,” Crossley said. “They helped us out a bunch in the first, they walked a bunch.”
The Racers scored 11 runs in the first inning. Joseph Craig and Dylan Adams both notched two hits for the Racers, while Adams also drove in a home run. Reagan Able also registered two hits.
Despite jumping on the Bobcats’ (0-3) early pitching woes, Crossley chalked the lopsided score to inexperience on Bridge Creek’s roster.
“Bridge Creek is real young, they graduated a lot of kids,” Crossley said. “They played a real good ball game against Purcell the day before.”
Despite the big win, the Racers were not able to ride the momentum into a victory Monday, Mar. 10 against Mt. Saint Mary’s. Newcastle fell to the Rockets 5-3.
Adams banged home a two-run homer in the first inning, but it was not enough to overcome Mt. Saint Mary’s (2-0) momentum, cruising on a 15-3 walloping of Santa Fe South.
Aftr a Tuesday matchup on the road against Oklahoma Christian Academy, the Racers will return home Mar. 13 to host Class A Binger-Oney (0-1) before a Mar. 14 road date against Tri-City rival Tuttle (2-0).
Incoming Newcastle High School senior Reagan Abel is competing this week in a nationwide baseball tournament in a bid to impress scouts and colleges.
The 17-year-old pitcher is competing with his summer ball team at the 2013 WWBA Grads or 17 and under National Championship in Atlanta, Ga. The tournament is expected to run through the end of the week after being delayed due to heavy rains from last week.
Reagan, pitching with the Midwest Warducks of Tulsa, Okla. for the summer, has been a pitcher since his family returned to Newcastle from Lubbock, Texas, his father Darrin Abel said.
“He has always been a third baseman,” Darrin said. “His little league coaches there in Newcastle started having him pitch once he moved up to kid pitch, and he’s been pitching ever since.”
The Newcastle Racers won one of two games during the rain shortened Newcastle Tournament last weekend.
After a tough loss to Purcell in game one the Racers came back and run-ruled Classen, 15-1 in game two.
The Racers pounded out a total of 13 hits much to the pleasure of head coach Mike Crossley.
“We swung the bat well. We played better and we did a lot better at the plate,” Crossley said.
Shelton Johnson, Zach Bergt and Keith Tarver each had three hits for the Racers while Dustin Butler, Brandon Rakestraw, Dylan Adams, Nate Williams, Kenny Thompson, Nathan King and Brett Toomoth all had one hit.
“We saw some pitching against Purcell and took some batting practice before the Classen game and got some reps under us. We swung it better against Classen and it always looks better when you swing the bat well,” Crossley said.
Bryan Mason picked up the win on the mound throwing only a couple innings before giving way to Rakestraw in relief.
“We hadn’t played in a while and Bryan needed some reps on the mound to stay sharp,” Crossley said.
“Brandon came in for his first time on the mound all season and I was pleased with him. We need him on the mound as the season comes to a close.”
Overall Crossley was most pleased with how his team responded at the plate after a tough loss.
“We play well when we swing the bats and we did that and things got out of hand quickly,” Crossley said.
Purcell defeated the Racers, 6-3, in the opener.
Newcastle struggled at the plate only finishing with four hits in the loss.
Adams connected for a home run for one of his two hits in the game while Williams had a double and an RBI.
“We just didn’t’ play well. We had beat them earlier in the year pretty bad and we just didn’t play well and didn’t pitch well. We struggled on the mound and definitely struggled at the plate,” Crossley said.
With the rain that came through Newcastle midweek the Racer coaching staff spent many hours trying to get the field playable for the tournament which ended up causing problems for the host Racers.
“I’ll take the blame for the loss. We played Monday and beat a really good Noble team and with the rain we got it wrecked the field. In an effort to try and get the field ready, as a staff, we spent a lot of time trying to get the field ready and in doing so we had three practices leading up to the tournament that weren’t our best,” Crossley said.
“We didn’t have quality practices because we were trying to get the field ready and we didn’t play our best. That had a lot to do with it. We were trying to save the tournament and spent a lot of hours getting the field playable.”
Bryan Smith had one hit in the loss.
Monday night in a last minute replacement game the Racers defeated the OKC Broncos, 9-3.
“They’re a home schooled team and have kids from all over the state. They’re not limited on where they can get players from because they don’t have to follow OSSAA rules because they’re home schooled,” Crossley said.
Rakestraw led the way offensively with three hits while Johnson had two.
“We swung the bat really well. I was very pleased. They’re traditionally a tough draw and they were a last minute replacement game because we were supposed to play Tuttle but their prom interferred,” Crossley said.
Newcastle finished with 10 total hits in the game.
Bergt, Adams, Williams and Thompson all had one base hit in the win.
Mason was on the bump for the Racers and pitched a two-hitter for the win.
“Bryan pitched outstanding and the kid splayed well. We had a good day on the mound,” Crossley said.
Mason is now 6-0 on the season.
Newcastle bumped their season record to 13-3 and have a busy rest of the week.
Tuesday the Racers traveled to Bridge Creek to face the Bobcats and will hit the road today (Thursday) when they travel to Dibble for a match up with the Demons.
Friday Newcastle will travel to Little Axe to makeup the finals of the Little Axe Tournament where they will face Tecumseh and immediately turn around and play Little Axe in the makeup consolation finals of the Newcastle Tournament.
“Since we were already going to Little Axe to makeup the finals of their tournament we decided we’d play the consolation game of our tournament while we’re there,” Crossley said.
Saturday the Racers will travel to McLoud for a doubleheader with the Redskins.
The Racers will host their annual baseball tournament this weekend, weather permitting.
In addition to the host Racers teams in the tournament include Purcell, Noble, Classen, Christian Heritage, Bridge Creek, Latta and Little Axe.
Noble and Classen kick things off at 11 a.m. Thursday followed by Newcastle and Purcell at 1:30 p.m. with Christian Heritage and Bridge Creek at 4 p.m.
Latta and Little Axe will finish off day one with a 6:30 p.m. scheduled first pitch.
“It’s going to be a good tournament. Latta is traditionally good and Christian Heritage is ranked No. 5 in 2A and they’ve been in the state tournament the last couple of seasons,” head coach Mike Crossley said.
“The Christian Heritage ace can throw in the 90s and Noble is a good ball club. We’ve got some good teams.”
The Racers knocked off previously undefeated class 5A No. 6 Noble Monday night, 13-8.
Kenny Thompson got the start on the bump for the Racers and pitched a good game before handing over to Zach Bergt for relief duty.
Noble, who was 19-0 heading into the game, ran into a Racer team who got the sticks going at the right time.
Dylan Adams was a bright spot for Newcastle with two hits on the night one of which was a three run home run.
“We played really well and we swung the bats well again,” Crossley said.
Bergt, Keith Tarver, Bryan Smith and Brett Toomoth each had one hit.
Freshman Nathan Williams also went deep for the Racers for his second home run of the season.
Brandon Rakestraw had two hits in the win.
“Kenny kind of puttered out in the sixth but it’s still early in the season. Noble is a good team with good hitters and it forced him to pitch well,” Crossley said.
“They don’t chase pitches and they force you to throw a lot of pitches and Kenny got tired heading to the sixth so I brought Zach in and he finished it up. It was a big win for us.”
Crossley said he coaches his team to hit the ball up the middle and back at the pitcher and that’s exactly what they did.
“Like in all of our games we preach hitting the ball back up the middle at the pitcher and the kids have been executing well. We’ve had 40-50 hits our last four games and 90 percent of them have been back up the middle,” Crossley said.
“I’m really pleased with how coachable we are right now. We’re an athletic team but we’re just young. But I’m pleased right now.”
Last Tuesday Newcastle scored 26 runs in two games with Bridge Creek while limiting the Bobcats to just two runs.
In game one the Racers hammered the Bobcats, 18-2.
Rakestraw, Tarver and Eric King each had three hits.
“It was probably one of the best hitting games we’ve had. We came out and swung it well and we have been swinging it well for a while.
Adams, and Williams each had two hits in the victory while Bryan Mason, Bergt and Smith all had one hit.
“We’re starting to come together a little bit. Our pitching and defense have been good and our bats are coming around,” Crossley said.
Newcastle pounded out 18 hits in the game to match their 18 runs.
“That’s a lot of hits and we swung it very well,” Crossley said.
In the second game of the double header Newcastle shutout Bridge Creek, 8-0.
Sophomore Shelton Johnson picked up the win on the bump for the Racers in a complete game.
“Shelton pitched really well and allowed one hit. It was the best game he’s thrown and he’s young,” Crossley said. “He did a heck of a job, got his breaking stuff over and his technique was the best I’ve seen from him.”
Johnson also had one hit in the game along with Williams, Tarver and Thompson.
“It was another good game for us. It was our fifth win in a row and we’re getting on a roll. It was good to get those guys back-to-back. We hit the ball better and getting more at-bats will do that,” Crossley said. “We had a power surge hitting the ball and getting more reps at the plate will help that.”
Last Thursday Newcastle pinned a 14-2 loss on the Purcell Dragons.
Bergt paced the Racers with three base hits.
“It was another good game for us,” Crossley said.
Mason picked up the win on the mound for his fourth consecutive victory.
“He’s becoming very dependable. He did a good job of hitting his spots and he had his off speed pitches working. He didn’t have that last year. He developed one and he’s getting better and better each time out,” Crossley said.
Newcastle continued their recent string of hot hitting.
“We again continued hitting the ball. I knew we were capable of swinging the bat better. We’re swinging it better and with the weather warming up we’ll continue to get more reps at the plate,” Crossley said.
“We’re a young bunch and the more reps we get the better we’ll be. The sticks have really come along the last four games.”
Newcastle’s game with Jones was rained out Saturday and the Racers second game as part of the three way with Purcell and Lexington didn’t take place.
The Racers are 11-2 on the season.