McAlester rallies for regional win over Coweta

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TULSA — When the Buffs got hot, they never let up.

McAlester faced off against Coweta in the opening game of the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association Class 5A baseball regional at Bishop Kelley on Wednesday, where the Buffs lit it up at the scoreboard for a 9-3 win over the Tigers.

After a defensive start to the ballgame that left both teams scoreless through the first two innings, Coweta broke the ice with a home run over the right field for the 1-0 lead.

But in the bottom of the third, the Buffs answered as Spencer Stinchcomb led off with a single and was later scored with a sacrifice fly from Caden Lesnau to tie the game at 1-1.

Coweta added a pair of runs in the next two times at bat, gaining back the lead to 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.

Stinchcomb led off with a single and Ethan Watkins was hit by a pitch, putting two on the bags. Seth Sam followed with a well-placed soft bunt, and Stinchcomb took advantage to score. Lesnau followed with another sacrifice fly to right, scoring Watkins to tie up the game.

Ethan Gillespie next took to the plate, and smacked a ground ball into left for an RBI — putting McAlester in the 4-3 lead after five innings.

On the defensive side, Sam put in work on the mound. He struck out two as McAlester left a runner stranded and got back to the bats at the bottom of the sixth inning.

After filling up the bags with runners, Lesnau hit a high-flying double to left — scoring two runs and extending the Buffalo lead. Gillespie returned to the plate and swung for the fences, sending a rocket to the moon over the left field wall for a three-run dinger.

With only three outs away, Sam finished up the job on the mound — earning three strikeouts to seal away the win for the Buffs.

Gillespie and Lesnau led the way at the plate with four RBIs each, followed by Sam with an RBI. Sam threw a complete game on the bump, striking out nine in the win.

McAlester advances to the second day of play with the win. Next up for the Buffs, they'll face off against the host Bishop Kelley at 4 p.m.