McALESTER — McAlester’s pitchers didn’t make things easy for the Buffaloes, giving away 11 free bases — the equivalent of eight runs — on eight walks and three hit-by-pitches.
Duncan designated hitter Mason Rogers hitting three home runs made things even worse.
Rogers blasted three home runs for a combined nine runs batted in, powering the Demons to a 15-6 run-rule win against the Buffs on Saturday at the McAlester Shootout at Hook Eales Stadium.
“Today was probably going to be a game where if you were going to win, you were probably going to have swing the bat pretty well and score a lot of runs,” Buffs coach Justin Bond said. “They did that better than us.”
McAlester beat Lawton MacArthur 10-2 at the Shootout on Thursday, but lost 5-2 to Chickasha on Friday. McAlester played Ardmore later Saturday afternoon, but those two losses guaranteed the Buffs wouldn’t play in the tournament championship.
The Demons’ patience paid off almost immediately Saturday. Deon Smith, a freshman making his first varsity start for the Buffs, threw 12 of his first 13 pitches for balls, walking the bases loaded.
That brought up Rogers. Smith worked the count to 1-1, but Rogers crushed the third pitch of his at-bat over the wall in center field for a grand slam and a quick 4-0 lead.
“They leave that fastball right over the middle of the plate, and I just see that as a big gigantic meatball,” Rogers said. “I just go after it.”
While the Demons earned their first four runs of the game, the next four came because of defensive errors by the Buffs. Scott Cooper walked with one out in the top of the second, then Taber Kaspereit dropped a bunt towards Buffs third baseman Brandon Green.
Green fielded it cleanly, but he seemed to freeze for several seconds, perhaps unsure whether to throw to first or second. Green chose second, but by that point Cooper had already safely slid into the base.