McALESTER — It took the McAlester Buffaloes’ offense a few innings to get going Friday, but until their bats could get going, Buffs starting pitcher Michael Hyden kept the Castleberry Lions in check and off the bases.
Hyden gave up just one unearned run in a five-inning complete game, and the Buffs eventually run-ruled the Lions in five innings, 9-1, Friday at Mike Deak Field in McAlester.
“In the first two innings, our energy was not very good,” Buffs coach Justin Bond said. “It was kind of flat, and I asked them and challenged them to raise their game, and they did. They got into the game, and the success and the results followed.”
Already up 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Buffs sent 10 batters to the plate, beginning with a double to right by Grant Sontag. Zach Baugh singled down the third base line, then Sontag scored and Baugh moved to second when Lions starting pitcher Ben Ayla was called for a balk.
Chad Meadows singled to right to again put runners on the corners, then Andrew McBride dropped a perfect bunt down the third base line. Baugh scored easily to make it 4-1 and McBride beat the throw to first for an infield single, but Meadows was thrown out trying to get to third.
Taylor Mullins then got on when third baseman Juan Ortiz’s throw to first pulled Eric Aguillon off the bag. Of Castleberry’s six defensive errors, Ortiz committed three,
“We have a team that has two freshmen starting and five sophomores starting, and when you do that, you have to grow,” Lions coach O.J. Holcomb said.
“If we’d made a couple plays for (Ayla), the game could’ve been like a 3-1 type of game.”
Following therror in the fourth, Ayla gave up an RBI single to Brett Homer to make it 5-0. Holcomb replaced Ayla with Aaron Torres, who got his first two pitches past Dalton Wood before Wood fouled off the third.