Twenty years after Miami won it's first state championship in baseball, the Wardogs will try to do it again.

MHS takes the first step in that attempt Thursday night, facing Berryhill in the day's final game.

"I feel good about our chances," Miami coach Chris Mercer said. "Any time we can run Brett (junior left-hander Brett Abell) out there, you've gotta feel good about that. I feel our kids compete as hard as any team we've played. That's the main thing."

The Wardogs and Chiefs tangle at 7:30 p.m.

Other first-round games include Blanchard vs. Tuttle at noon, Tulsa Cascia Hall vs. McLoud at 2:30 p.m. and Weatherford vs. Broken Bow at 5 p.m.

The Weatherford-Broken Bow winner battles the Blanchard-Tuttle winner Friday at 5 p.m. while the Miami-Berryhill survivor tackles either Cascia Hall or McLoud at 7:30 p.m.

The 4A championship game will be at 5 p.m. Saturday.

This will be Miami's first trip to Shawnee since 2002, when the Wardogs lost in the first round to Ada, 7-4.

It's been 20 years since Miami won it's only state baseball title, defeating Okmulgee 10-5 at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.

"They are real good, is what I hear," Berryhill coach Richie Schuler said. "They've got that tall lefty (Abell). He's a good one. The 1-5 hitters are good. I know they are good."

Miami punched its ticket to the state tournament Sunday when it clipped Oologah 6-5 in the "if necessary" game at Grove.

The Wardogs beat Oologah 5-0 in the first round then dropped an 11-5 decision to OHS in Saturday's first championship game.

Oologah used a three-run rally in bottom of the sixth to forge a 5-5 tie in Sunday's "winner take all" battle.

Catcher Zack Turley was hit by a pitch to start the Miami eighth. Josh White bunted him to second.

James Pickens popped up before Michael Anderson walked. Grant Longcrier fell behind 0-2 before singling to left, scoring Turley with the go-ahead run.

Berryhill started its season 5-6 then went on a 15-game winning streak. They enter the state tournament with a 26-10 record.

The Chiefs beat Mannford 6-1 in the "if necessary" game of their regional.

Mannford had extended the tournament by squeezing out an 8-7 decision in the first championship game.

The Chiefs have qualified for the state tournament all three years under Schuler.

They lost to Oologah the previous two times - in the 2006 semi-finals and the 2005 title game.

"They've had our number a little bit," Schuler said.

The Chiefs have six seniors and five start - pitcher-infielder Dean Green, catcher Cory Haines, infielder-pitcher Clint Carter, infielder-pitcher Michael Walker and center fielder D.J. Burgess.

"The coaches I have talked to just rave about how well Green swings the bat," Mercer said. "He's also their No. 1 pitcher. He throws about 83 (mph) and he comes 3/4 (delivery)."

Walker is Berryhill's "feel-good" story of the year.

The right-handed Walker suffered an elbow injury in the semifinals of the state tournament last year and needed "Tommy John surgery."

He was released to pitch three days before the regional and wound up going the distance in one of the Chiefs' games.

"I didn't think he could go the distance because he hadn't been on the mound," Schuler said. "We watching him inning by inning. It was one of the gutsiest pitching performances I have seen in a long time."

The Chiefs also have a "diamond in the rough" in freshman right-hander Tyler Brown.

"He's got a nice arm.