By CRAIG HALL
HOWE—Poteau advanced to the championship game of the 2015 baseball LeFlore County Tournament in a game which will be remembered for years to come on Friday night.
The Pirates, who had never led and trailed by four runs going into the bottom of the sixth, scored five runs to take their first lead and held Wister scoreless in the seventh to clinch a 11-10 win in the winner’s bracket finals.
Wister plays Spiro, which had to win two games on Friday, in the elimination game at 3 p.m. The winner of that game takes on the Pirates, who only have to win one game to claim the LCT for the first time in two years.
Poteau’s rally was even more impressive because the first two batters of the inning were retired. But Hunter Bradshaw doubled to left and Roger Barcheers got on by an error. Kade McMillin lined a single to right to score the first run and Ben Klutts slammed one off the wall in left field for a double and another run.
Justice Goldman got on with an error with the final two runs scoring for the winning runs.
Mason Grimm then held the Wildcats scoreless in the seventh, the first inning Wister had failed to score in since the third.
The game turned out radically different than expected. With two of the county’s best pitchers dueling in Wister’s Scotty Gibson and Poteau’s Brynn Hammon, a betting person would have wagered it would be a low-scoring contest.
But Wister scored three times in the top of the first and Poteau tied the score with three scores in the bottom of the third.
The Wildcats scored twice in the fourth to regain the lead and added three more runs in the fifth and two in the sixth.
Poteau rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull within 8-6 before Wister put the lead back up to four in the top of the sixth, setting the stage for the Pirates’ rally.
Gibson went the distance for Wister, striking out five and allowing seven hits. The Wildcats had six errors, which made a huge difference in the outcome.
Hammon went the first four innings before being relieved by Grimm. Hammon had two strikeouts while Grimm had four over the final three innings. The Wildcats finished with eight hits while Poteau had five errors.
McMillin was 2-3 with two RBI and two runs scored for the Pirates and Klutts was 2-4 with two runs and a RBI. Barcheers scored times for Poteau.
Jesse Hammons was 2-3 for Wister and Gibson went 2-4 with a RBI and a run scored.
Spiro stayed alive with the two wins, beating Heavener 6-2 after a 10-0 victory over Cameron.
Against the Wolves, Anthony Gonzales went the distance for the Bulldogs, throwing a two-hitter and striking out three. The Bulldogs were scoreless until the fourth inning, when they crossed home plate four times with the big hit a double by Nick Hatfield, which drove in two runs. Spiro added a run in the fifth on another hit by Hatfield.
In the win over Cameron, winning pitcher T.J. Hayes helped the Bulldogs get off to a good start by slamming a three-run homer in the first inning. Dru Didway also hit a solo blast in the third inning.
Hatfield went the first three innings with relief help from Hatfield. Samuel Humphries took the loss for Cameron.