Buffs battle with Oktaha in final home game

Apr. 26—The Buffs never gave up the fight.

McAlester hosted Oktaha Friday in the final home game of the season, where the Buffs fought but fell 9-5.

The Tigers broke the ice in the opening frame, earning a run to take an early lead. But the Buffs had an answer in the bottom of the inning, as Ayden Shumway led off with a single. Brayden Phillips followed with a line drive into right field, scoring Shumway and tying the game.

Spencer Stinchcomb followed Phillips' lead, and sent a ball out into left field for an RBI and giving McAlester the 2-1 lead after the first inning.

Oktaha responded in the next two innings, scoring six runs to take a five-run lead after three innings.

The Buffs struck back int he bottom of the fifth inning of play. Caden Lesnau earned a single to get on the bags, with Phillips following by sending a hard-hit ball up the middle to score Lesnau. Stinchcomb came back to the plate, and sent a high-flying ball to the left field fence to score Phillips and cut the deficit to three.

The Tigers got the bats going again in the top of the sixth, earning back those two runs. McAlester scored again in the bottom of the seventh inning courtesy of a Phillips sacrifice fly, but Oktaha held on for the win.

Phillips led the way at the plate for the Buffs, going 2-3 with three RBIs, followed by Stinchcomb with two. Ethan Watkins and Gunner Hodgell combined their efforts on the mound, striking out six.

Next up for McAlester, the Buffs will travel to Muskogee on Monday for the regular season finale before traveling to Collinsville for regional tournament play.