HARTSHORNE — Hartshorne brought a squad of veteran varsity players to its postseason summer tournament, while McAlester entered both a veteran and a freshman squad.
The Miners’ pitchers proved just too crafty for the Jr. Buffs’ inexperienced hitters.
Hartshorne starter Ledgen Angeli and reliever Shay Wilcox combined for 17 strikeouts, helping the Miners beat the Jr. Buffs 12-3 on Thursday at the Hartshorne Baseball Complex.
Hartshorne also beat Crowder 4-3 during Thursday’s pool play, and Crowder beat McAlester 5-2. The single-elimination portion of the tournament continued Friday and Saturday.
“That’s one of the good things about this group: a lot of the kids can go up there and throw strikes,” Hartshorne coach Justin James said.
“We’re not afraid to go to somebody else, because we have faith in a lot of people throwing strikes.”
McAlester’s hitters struck out at least once in every inning. The Jr. Buffs took a 1-0 lead when Noah Cook drew a leadoff walk in the second inning, took second on an errant pickoff throw and third on Harley Martin’s sacrifice groundout, then scored on a passed ball.
But Angeli responded to the McAlester run by striking out his next two batters to end the second, then struck out the side in the third. He walked Jett Wood and Ryan Kelley to start the fourth, but again responded with back-to-back strikeouts.
Angeli’s control seemed to falter at that point. He hit Austin Vilar, then watched Wood and Kelley score on back-to-back passed balls by Hartshorne catcher Chance Parker that made it a three-run game.
Angeli threw two balls to Rhett Reagan, at which point James brought in Wilcox. Angeli finished striking out eight in 3 2/3 innings and took a no-decision.
“I just lost control of the ball,” Angeli said of his fourth inning. But prior to the forth, he said, “They couldn’t catch up to the fastball, then (I’d) throw a curveball and they’re off-balance.”