McALESTER — With the winning runs in scoring position, the McAlester Buffaloes twice came up empty.
Shawnee starting pitcher Eli Davis struck out back-to-back Buffs with runners on second and third in the bottom of the seventh, completing a 15-strikeout day and leading the Wolves to a 3-2 win Saturday at Mike Deak Field in McAlester.
The win clinched District 5A-4 for the Wolves. The Buffs finished in second place, and both teams will host regional tournaments this week.
“That’s how a battle for a district championship should be,” Buffs coach Justin Bond said. “Should be a 3-2 ballgame, taking it to the wire.”
Though Davis only once retired the Buffs without allowing a baserunner, he never allowed that one big hit that would’ve swung momentum back McAlester’s way. McAlester tried to mount a comeback in the bottom of the sixth, with Brett Homer leading off the inning with a double down the right field line.
Davis struck out Grant Sontag for the first out of the inning, but Chad Meadows singled to right to score courtesy runner Kabyn Kelley and cut Shawnee’s lead to 3-2. Davis struck out Andrew McBride for the second out, and though Taylor Mullins beat out an infield single, Davis then struck out Zach Baugh to get out of the inning with the Wolves still in the lead.
McAlester again tried to come back in the bottom of the seventh, with Dalton Wood singling to left for his third hit of the day. Brandon Green’s fielder’s choice erased Wood at second, but Green got to third when Mason Ross singled up the middle and the ball got past Wolves center fielder Logan Franklin for an error.
With runners on second and third, Davis struck out Homer, then struck out Sontag to end the game.