OKLAHOMA CITY - In a day and night loaded with an unbelievable amount of adversity the Durant Lions baseballers managed to survive for a district-opening sweep of Western Heights on the road Friday.
The Lions blew open the opener late for a 16-4 victory but then needed a walk-off double from Cooper Webb in the bottom of the seventh for a 4-3 win in the nightcap.
Saturday’s scheduled doubleheader with Capitol Hill was postponed due to anticipated wintry precipitation and will now be made up on March 20. The Lions, now 3-0, will be back on the road again Tuesday for a non-district contest at Broken Bow starting at 5 p.m.
Durant scratched across a run in the opening frame of game one as Spencer Tidwell walked, stole second and eventually scored on an Alex Brooks groundout. The Jets however answered in the second stanza cashing in a double and Lion error to tie the contest.
The Lions regained the lead or good in the third as Webb singled, stole second and scored on Brooks’ single and the visitors looked like they might break it wide open one frame later, plating four more runs before Western Heights got out of trouble.
Austin Joines opened with a single and Dakota Finley was hit by a pitch. Denton Comer then delivered a two-out double to score both runners. After a Tidwell single, Webb cashed in another two-run hit that made it 6-1.
After a scoreless fifth, the Lions tacked on six more runs in the sixth ignited by a Comer leadoff hit. Brooks drove in two with a double, Joines followed with a run-scoring double as well while Brandon Robison and Hayden Burkett contributed RBI singles.
The Jets answered with three runs on only two hits in the bottom of the stanza to force another inning and Durant picked up three of its own in the seventh with four hits. Riley Hendrix and Finley had singles, Joines a run-scoring double and Burkett a RBI single.
Hendrix recorded the mound victory with seven innings of work, allowing just one earned run while scattering five hits with nine strikeouts and one walk.
Brooks and Joines fueled the offense with three hits apiece. Brooks had a double and drove in three while Joines notched two doubles and two RBI. Webb tallied two hits and four runs batted in and Hendrix, Robison, Burkett and Comer ended with two hits apiece as well. Tidwell and Finley also contributed one hit each as every starter in the order had at least one hit for the Lions. Game two was much more of a nail biter as Durant was the designated home team.
Western Heights struck first with an unearned run in the second inning, capitalizing on two hits, two walks and a Lion error.
Durant finally got on the board in the third when Comer led off with a walk and moved to third on a Webb two-out single. Brooks then came through with a two-run double.
The Jets surged back in front in the fourth with two runs of their own, capitalizing on a leadoff walk and two hits before reliever Hayden Burkett settled in on the mound to silence the Oklahoma City squad the rest of the way.
Joines sparked another rally in the bottom of the fourth with a double and scored to tie it at 3-3 on a Robison single.
That’s how it remained until the bottom of the seventh inning when the Jets misplayed a fly ball off the bat of Comer. Tidwell moved him to third with a single before Webb’s game winner on a smash to the gap in right-center field.
Tidwell worked the first three innings on the mound, yielding an unearned run on three hits with a strikeout and two walks. Burkett fired four frames, scattering six hits to go along with three strikeouts.
Joines’ two doubles keyed the offense with Tidwell and Webb also contributing two hits each. Brooks and Robison ended with one hit.
DURANT - The Durant Lions erupted for nine runs in the final two innings to break open a tight contest in an 11-1 run-rule over Dickson in the season opener Thursday evening at the Durant Multi-Sports Complex.
Senior Brandon Maynard was in command throughout the contest, going the distance on the mound in the six-inning affair, yielding just two hits with eight strikeouts and a pair of walks.
Durant broke a scoreless deadlock in the third inning as Spencer Tidwell doubled and then rode home on a double by Cooper Webb. The Lions then tacked on another run in the fourth as Austin Joines opened with a single and eventually scored on a Comet error.
Dickson took advantage of a leadoff walk in the fifth to cut the lead in half without the benefit of a hit.
The hosts then responded with three runs with Alex Brooks and Riley Hendrix delivering RBI doubles and Joines a run-scoring sacrifice fly.
Durant then put the finishing touches on the contest with six runs in the sixth. Brooks, Joines, Hunter Burkett and Hayden Burkett all tallied RBI singles while Hendrix added a two-run double.
Tidwell, Brooks, Hendrix, Joines and Brandon Robison each ended with two hits. Hendrix notched three RBI while Brooks and Joines added two apiece.
The Lions are scheduled to return to action Friday, opening district play on the road at Western Heights in Oklahoma City.
Durant’s junior varsity baseballers improved to 3-0 on the season Thursday night with an 11-4 win over visiting Dickson at the Durant Multi-Sports Complex.
The Lions got a strong pitching start from Hunter Burkett, who fired three innings, allowing a run on two hits to go with four strikeouts.
The hosts plated at least one run in every frame of the five-inning contest.
Jake Smith led the offensive charge with a pair of hits, including a double, and drove in three runs. Justin Marksberry and Drew Smith each contributed doubles while Matthew Knox, Denton Comer, Cody Jones, Brody Morgan and Dylon Polson posted one hit each.
The JV Lions will be back at home on Monday, facing Whitesboro, Texas in a doubleheader at the Durant Multi-Sports Complex.