McAlester — The Durant Lions are headed to the State Tournament.
Again, the Lions had to face-off against the Memorial Chargers for the third time in the Regional Tournament. And again, it came down to last minute heroics.
The hero of the game for Durant was Matthew Knox.
The Chargers had a runner on second base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The next Memorial batter stepped up and hit a line drive headed into the gap between right and center field. But right-fielder Knox got a great jump on the ball and just as it looked like the ball was going to fall, Knox dove and made the diving catch for the final out and the win.
Durant beat the Chargers the first time 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning on a SAC-RBI by Riley Hendrix. Durant lost the second game to Memorial 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning when the Chargers rallied from five runs down in the last frame of the game.
Then on Friday the two teams butted heads again for the title of regional champions. And the Lions came out on top to claim the prize and heads to play in the State Tourney.
Alex Brooks got the starting pitcher role. Brooks started out a little shaky when the Chargers went up 2-0 in the first inning. Then Brooks settled down and began to make the Memorial batters scratch their helmets.
Brooks mixed up his off-speed pitches with a high fast ball and got Memorial batters to swing early or swing late. Brooks recorded six strike-outs in four innings of work.
Then Austin Joines came in for relief and got the save, not letting a Charger rally happen again.
The Chargers went up 2-0 in the first inning and added another run in fourth inning and led 3-0.
Then Durant got a run scored in the fifth inning on a Carson Campbell RBI single. Lions trailed 3-1.
Durant bats were hot in the top of the seventh inning. It was do or die for the Lions.
Joines and Denton Comer both single to begin the inning. Then Campbell drove in Joines, but Comer got caught in a run-down between second and third base. But the throw went over the third baseman’s head and Comer raced home for the score that tied the game 3-3.
Durant wasn’t done yet.
Brooks would hit a RBI single, followed by a 2 RBI double by Knox that gave the Lions a 5-3 lead.
Now Durant waits to see who their next opponent will be in the State Tourney.