CROWDER — Throughout his childhood, Hartshorne senior Brett Akins was the classic three-sport athlete. He’d play football in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring.
But while Hartshorne adores its football team and its basketball team has improved each of the last two seasons, baseball has always been Akins’ first love.
Akins said Saturday that he started playing baseball as a 5- or 6-year old. He played T-ball, then moved up to coach-pitch.
He played in a local Hartshorne league, and he played for travel teams like the McAlester Rangers and McAlester Sooners.
“When I was 7, every at-bat I’d just hit it and run,” Akins said. “I never knew really knew baseball rules or anything. I’d always ask my mom and dad if we’d won the game.”
Basketball started in the fourth grade for Akins, then football began in the sixth. He continued with all three sports through junior high and high school, playing wide receiver and defensive back in football and guard and basketball.
Pitching and playing shortstop, Akins made the varsity baseball team as a freshman. He’s been a varsity Miner ever since.
“Down there at Regionals against Stigler last year, (I) had a walk-off to beat a team,” Akins said. “They beat us three times earlier in the regular season, and I had a walk-off double.”
The Miners didn’t make the state tournament in 2013, but Akins’ baseball season continued past May. He made the Oklahoma Blue team for the Jr. Sunbelt Classic in June, then held his own against some of the best baseball prospects in the country.
Akins’ best game may have been a June 8 game against defending-champion Tennessee. Oklahoma Blue lost, but Akins batted 2-for-3.
He also drove in a run with a perfect bunt down the third base line that gave his team a brief lead.