|Oklahoma's Premier Summer Baseball Program||Thursday, September 03, 2015|
The 2008 Travelers finished the season 66-7, and broke about every record they could get their hands on in the process.
The team was the first ever to lose less than 10 games in a season and broke a long-standing winning streak record along the way. It also set the mark of the highest winning percentage in team history at .904 -- besting the .878 mark set by the 1985 team (86-12).
While the team had a deep stock of pitching and quite possibly the best defensive infield in team history, it was the offense that stole the show in 2008.
Collectively the offense hit a team-record .413, besting the 2002 team's .395 mark for the highest average in team history. Seven players hit north of .400 on the season. And the lineup didn't just hit, it slugged. Five players hit double-digits in homeruns. The team's total of 107 blasts and a .702 slugging percentage were far and away the highest totals since the team moved to spacious Ackley Park in 2002. The old marks were 65 homeruns and a .615 slugging percentage -- both set last year by the '07 squad.
But maybe the most impressive record set by the club was its 36-game winning streak. The run - which lasted from June 7th to July 12th and spanned through three complete tournaments - broke a 31-year record of 29 straight wins by the 1977 team. It was a mark thought to be unbreakable considering the increasing number of high-profile tournaments the team competes in nowadays.
On the tournament front, the team performed remarkably, winning five of the eight events it participated in. The squad was fortunate enough to win a third straight Andenucio tournament title in Pueblo, CO, as well as win its first title at the Sierra Nevada Classic in Reno.
Individually, several Travelers stood out this season.
At just 16 years of age, Dayne Parker hit .515 to become just the third player in team history to hit over .500 (joining Dean Green and Matt Yost). Jon Gelnar joined the rarified ranks of the 100-hit club. As did team MVP Randy McCurry (pictured), who checked in with one of the best seasons in team history. The Tupelo native hit .479 on the season, leading the team in hits (102), runs (87), doubles (25), triples (8), homeruns (22) and slugging (.981). He also led the team with 110 RBI -- the fifth highest mark in team history, and highest total in 14 years.
With numerous offensive records secured, the longest winning streak in the program's history and the best record in team history, the 2008 squad has a strong argument as being the best ever.
Regardless of where it ranks, the 2008 team certainly raised the bar to new hieghts.
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