OKLAHOMA CITY - When the Tuttle Tigers defeated Dewey, 4-3 on Saturday at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, it wasn’t Connor Litterell or Zac Wall that hoisted the Class 4A state championship trophy.
It was Kim Tiderman, mother of Justin Tiderman who died seven years ago to the day with his father, Mike Tiderman, in a car accident in Oklahoma City. Justin would have been part of this year’s senior class.
“It means everything,” Kim Tiderman said after accepting the championship trophy for the team. “They’ve been with me from day one. Those are my boys.”
“Justin meant so much to them and they’ve never forgot him over these years. And of all the times for him to do it, tonight was amazing.”
Dewey jumped on top early, claiming a 3-0 lead after the top of the first, however, senior, Connor Litterell, stepped up with a 2-RBI double that kept Tuttle within reach.
“Words can’t really describe it,” Litterell said of winning the state title in memory of Tiderman. “He was one of the best kids ever and one of my best friends. We knew from the start of the season we were winning it all for him because he deserved it. And he was with us every step of the way.”
Litterell was also called upon to record the final eight outs for Tuttle starter, Conner Fryrear. Litterell pitched seven innings on Thursday against Cushing, tossing over 100 pitches, but was still able to shut the door on Dewey.
Tuttle grabbed the lead in the bottom of the third after a leadoff triple by senior, Zac Wall. He later scored to tie the game on a RBI-single by senior, Tyler McIntosh who later scored on an error off the bat of Cale Smith.
“I knew he (Tiderman) was watching over us,” Wall said. “I miss the kid dearly, but it just makes it that much sweeter that he was there watching over us for this. I knew he’d be the backbone of this team, and I think he still was this year.”
Tuttle coach, Travis Owen, said his team hung Tiderman’s No. 19 jersey in the locker room they re-named in his honor at the start of the year. Now they can hang the 2014 Class 4A championship banner right next to it.