Clint Bowker surprised me Friday after Ada’s dramatic 6-5 win over Bixby in the Class 5A Regional Tournament championship game.

It wasn’t the fact that Bowker stroked a grand slam that broke a 1-1 tie and put Ada in control ... well as control as these cardiac Cougar can be ... in the fourth inning of the victory.

But when visiting with Bowker during the postgame celebration — in which teammate Chase Sanders stole the spotlight after hitting a game-winning, walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh — he told me something a little unbelievable.

“That was just the second home run of my career and I just hit the first one about a week or two ago,” Bowker said.

Wow. Only two home runs?!. It can’t be, can it?

But AHS assistant coach Russell Hollingsworth confirmed the story. And he too was a little surprised to learn Bowker's hit left the yard.

Hollingsworth coaches first base for the Cougs and as Bowker left the batter's box, he was waving and yelling at him to hustle to second for a would-be double as the AHS ‘slugger’ started his home run trot.

“Bowker had this big smile on his face and said ‘Coach, it went out’,” Hollingsworth recalled.

Maybe it just seems like Bowker is Barry Bonds-like because he’s been smashing the ball most of the season. Even head coach Ronny Johns pointed out that Bowker has been red-hot during the 5A Regional Tournament even though he may not have a bundle of hits to show for it.

But if the AHS senior was ever going to develop a home run swing, he picked a great time to do it. It wouldn’t hurt Johns’ feelings one little bit for Bowker to increase his career HR total during this week’s Class 5A State Tournament.

For the record, Bowker’s first-ever homer came during the Carl Albert Tournament in a 10-9 win over Lawton McArthur.

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Another postponement

The 45th annual Ada Evening News All-Area basketball edition has once again put on hold. No concrete date has been set for publication.

And don’t forget about the 33rd annual Ada Evening News All-Star Classic basketball game schedule for Wednesday, May 17 at Stonewall High School. Preliminaries for the 3-point Shoot Out and Slam Dunk contests will begin at 4 p.m. with the girls’ game tipping of that night at 6:30 p.m. Those events, as always are open to any varsity players regardless of classification.

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AEN Fantasy

Baseball Update

Despite a 9-5 deficit to the suddenly-hot Mustangs of sports writer Bob Forrest, Kevin Gray’s KJ’s Hardhitters remained in first place through Friday’s games in the 2006 Ada Evening News Fantasy Baseball Challenge.

The Hardhitters carried a 39-25-6 record into the weekend followed by Leo Kelley’s Sluggs at 35-26-9. The Mustangs were in third at 34-30-6 while Jeremy Cantrell’s Team Flash bunch was close behind at 33-30-7.

And yes, James Myers was still bringing up the rear in the eight-team field at 25-35-10.

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