To reach the Class 5A state tournament, the McAlester Buffaloes will need to go through district opponent Durant and two teams from Tulsa.
Luckily, the Buffs will get to attempt it at home.
The Buffs will host a four-team regional baseball tournament today through Friday at Mike Deak Field in McAlester.
“They’re excited about having a home regional,” McAlester coach Justin Bond said Tuesday. “They look forward to playing their best and hopefully making a state tournament bid.
“It’s a home regional for us, but it’s definitely not a walk in the park for everybody.”
McAlester went 18-16 during the regular season, finishing second in District 5A-4 with an 11-3 district record behind champion Shawnee. That means the Buffs’ regional will feature the second- and six-seeds from 5A-4 and the three- and seven-seeds from 5A-3.
The Buffs open their Regional against Tulsa Hale, the seven-seed, at 11 a.m. The Rangers went 8-16 overall and 2-12 within the district, their only district wins coming against Tulsa-East Central, which went 0-14 in 5A-3 games.
Those two wins against East Central were also Hale’s only wins against Class 5A teams this season.
Durant plays Tulsa-Memorial at 1:30 p.m. Memorial, a three-seed went 17-18 this season, and Durant, a six-seed, went 13-17.
Durant and Memorial never played each other during the regular season. Whichever team wins plays the McAlester-Hale winner at 4 p.m. in the semifinals.
While Memorial enters Regionals with a sub-.500 record, McAlester might be hoping for a semifinal against Durant. The Buffs played the Lions twice in the first week of April, winning both games.
“We’ve progressed since that time,” Durant coach Ron Norman said.
“We’re hitting the ball better than we were a month ago. Against McAlester I think we got two hits. Hopefully we can keep the bats alive.”