Buffs battle in tilt with Bixby

Mar. 9—The Buffs never gave up the fight.

McAlester hosted Bixby Saturday at Mike Deak Field, where the Buffs battled but fell 8-3.

The Spartans struck first, scoring two in the opening frame to take the early lead. But in the top of the second inning, McAlester shut Bixby down thanks in part to a pair of strikeouts by starting pitcher Max Harmon.

Brayden Phillips got the Buffs going in the bottom of the second with a single up the middle, and stole his way around the horn to third base as Spencer Stinchcomb stepped up to the plate. He drilled a ball in-between second and short to score Phillips and put the Buffs on the board.

McAlester continued to work, and powered their way at the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning. Back-to-back singles from Ganon Mullins and Brayden Phillips put two on the bags, and a sacrifice bunt from Ayden Shumway put the Buffs in scoring position.

That's when Stinchcomb returned to bat, and sent a hard-hit ball back up the middle to score two and tie up the game at 3-3 after four innings.

The Spartans responded in the next frame, scoring two runs to push back out front — but new pitcher Jaxon Lauerman and the Buffalo defense held off any more Bixby advances.

The Buffs battled, but Bixby added some insurance runs to seal away the win.

Stinchcomb led at the plate at 2-3 with three RBIs on the day, while the Buffalo pitching staff struck out five.

Next up for McAlester after traveling to Tulsa Edison Monday, the Buffs return home to host the Eagles Tuesday at Mike Deak Field in district action.