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May 8, 2013

Byng roars to state tournament

Poteau —

The Pirates are going to the Class 4A State Tournament. Fortunately, those Pirates hail from Pontotoc County.

Byng's Pirates used a pair of five-run innings to down Poteau 10-0 in a five-inning, run-rule game in the winner-take-all game of the Class 4A Regional Tournament on Monday afternoon at Town Creek Park.

The Pirates (26-7) will play Thursday in the Class 4A State Tournament quarterfinals, which means not a lot of rest for coach Shawn Streeter's bunch. No. 7 Byng will battle No. 3 Piedmont at 11 a.m. in a first-round matchup at Edmond Memorial High School.

“As long as you're there, you have a chance,” he said. “That's what I told the kids. I don't want to be the best team in the end, I want to be the luckiest team in the end. Hopefully, we'll be lucky for these three days (at state).”

It seemed like this game was never going to take place after being rescheduled — and even relocated — on three occasions on Saturday due to rain. After the game couldn't be played Saturday in Poteau, it was going to be moved to a 3 p.m. start Saturday in Hartshorne. Then, when umpires couldn't be found, the game was going to try to be played Sunday afternoon in Poteau, but Byng could not play on Sunday. So, it was finally set for Monday afternoon.

“It was pretty nerve-racking,” Streeter said. “When it comes down to it, you have to have faith in your kids. They responded.”

Byng pitcher Reid Wall got the win as he struck out 10 batters in five innings. With the game still scoreless, he wiggled out of a second-and-third jam with no outs by fanning three straight batters to end the threat.

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