McALESTER - Five two-out errors led to nine unearned runs as the Durant Lions dropped a 13-1 District 5A-4 verdict at fourth-ranked McAlester on Tuesday evening.
Starting pitcher Brandon Maynard was saddled with the loss, allowing nine runs, seven of which were unearned on just three hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
“We played like a young team in a big game for the first time tonight,” head coach Ron Norman said. “We made some mistakes defensively that really cost us and have to get those corrected.
“I thought we swung the bats fairly well, although we didn’t have a lot to show for it. We put the ball in play all night against their ace pitcher. We just have to keep building off that.”
The Buffaloes broke on the board two run-single by Trey Meadows with two outs in the opening stanza before an error allowed two more runs to score. It looked like Maynard would get out of trouble in the second frame as the hosts loaded the bases with a hit batsman, single and walk with two outs before three Lion errors opened the floodgates.
Durant had it’s chances in the first two frames with hits by Seth White and Maynard before finally breaking on the board in the third. Cooper Webb opened with a single and Austin Joines then reached on an error before Webb came across on a double play grounder from Alex Brooks.
McAlester tacked on two runs off two walks and a double against reliever Spencer Tidwell in the third before getting its final two runs in the fourth after a pair of Lion errors and just one hit versus Brandon Robison.
The Lions’ fortunes were a little better in the junior varsity contest, although they still dropped a 3-2 verdict.
It looked like Durant might break things open offensively early with opening doubles from Webb and Carson Campbell but went silent before notching another in the second after a Robison single and two McAlester errors that allowed Derek Penz to reach and score.
The Lions’ only other hits came on a White double and Robison single in the fourth as the Buffaloes rallied to tie and then win it with two outs in the fifth.
Durant returns for a crucial District 5A-4 homestand on Friday and Saturday when Tulsa Hale and Tulsa Central each visit for doubleheaders.