ENID — It’s been quite a 12-month stretch for Braxton Douthit.
First he helps Wyandotte reach the Class 2A state baseball tournament for the first time ever.
Now he’s one of the leaders of the NJCAA Division II World Series bound Northern Oklahoma College-Jets.
“We’ve had to go through a little bit of adversity,” said Douthit.
“It could have been a lot easier, but we’ve lost five guys throughout the season,” Douthit said. “Three of them played big roles last season and two of them were starters ahead of me.
“I’ve had to really step up my role.”
The most valuable player in the Region II Tournament here last week, he also was named to the all-Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference first team and an NJCAA Pitcher of the Week earlier in the season.
“He has really turned the corner as far as being that guy on the mound,” said Jet coach Reydon Leaton. “When he goes out there, we have a chance to win.”
The Jets received the No. 4 seed and were paired against fifth-seed Sinclair, Ohio, in a first-round game at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 26.
Former Northeastern A&M baseball coach and athletic director Bill Mayberry is tournament director.
Douthit has a 4.03 earned run average for the Jets, pitching 80.1 innings. He has allowed 84 hits and has struck out 77 while walking 22.
His only loss was on March 9 against Ellsworth, Iowa.
“I wasn’t pitching very well then,” Douthit said. “I gave up three home runs in that game, so it was kind of a struggle.”
He has rattled off nine straight wins after that, including a 6-5 decision over Western State College in the Region II tournament.
They got the fast-track to the series since the Plains District tournament didn’t make because the other two teams— Heston in Kansas and MCC-Longview in Missouri — were the only DII teams in their respective states and didn’t have the required .500 record.
He got the win with five innings of work, allowing only one run.
“They really rely on me a lot,” Douthit said. “Once we hit conference, I kinda took off from there.”
Douthit won 25 games as a senior for coach Kendall Young at Wyandotte, earning all-state honors.
“This is pretty special,” he said. “I wish we could have gotten that first game back in the state tournament. If we’d won that, I think we could have had a pretty good run.”
Douthit has logged 5-0 OCAC and 10-1 overall records for the Jets
“The ultimate complement on him that I have heard over the last week has come from coaches in our conference about how much they love watching him pitch,” Leaton said. “They respect what he does and he makes it really hard on their hitters. The ultimate compliment is when your competitors are saying ‘that guy is a dude’ — they don’t like to see him any more.”
Douthit said Young gave him a big boost in confidence.
“He taught me to just go out there and do my thing,” Douthit said.