NOBLE - Early miscues proved costly for the youth-laden Durant Lions in dropping a road doubleheader to district-leading Noble on Tuesday afternoon.
The Lions couldn’t dig out of a 4-0 hole in the opener in falling to the Bears 12-2. Durant bounced back with a solid effort in game two but couldn’t cash in opportunities in a 6-1 defeat.
Durant drops to 8-4 and will take the rest of Spring Break off before hosting McAlester in a pivotal District 5A-4 clash on Tuesday.
Thirteen free passes issued by a trio of pitchers did the Lions in as Noble scored eight of it’s runs off that charity.
Starting hurler Dylan Stevens ran into difficulty, yielding four runs on three hits before the Durant bats came alive.
The Lions cut the margin in half in the third inning as Zack Lively opened with a single before courtesy runner Derek Penz came around to score on a Cooper Webb single. Alex Brooks then delivered a RBI double with two outs, but that proved to be all the Lion offense.
Durant’s final hit came on a Seth White single in the fourth frame. Webb finished with two hits to lead the way.
Southpaw Brandon Maynard was the tough-luck losing pitcher as he couldn’t manage enough run support despite five strong frames in which he scattered six hits and struck out eight. All six of the hits however went for extra bases, including a pair of solo home runs.
Noble built a 5-0 lead in the fifth when the Lions loaded the bases with two outs on singles by Lively and Webb along with a walk to Maynard but left the sacks full.
Durant finally broke on the board in the sixth as Stevens singled and rode all the way around to score on an Austin Joines double. Brandon Robison was hit by a pitch with one away but the Lions left both runners stranded in scoring position.
Webb notched two hits to pace the Durant attack. Maynard, Stevens, White, Joines, Lively and Robison had one apiece.