ADA — Anything can — and usually does — happen when Ada tangles with archrival McAlester in any sporting event.

Tuesday night in a baseball matchup at Cougar Field, Chase Sanders added another memorable moment in the storied rivalry.

With Ada trailing 3-0, Sanders blasted an 0-1 offering from McAlester reliever Tanner Wood over the tall wall in left field for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Cougars a dramatic 4-3 win over the stunned Buffaloes.

Ada — ranked No. 9 in Class 5A — improved to 14-6 on the year and won for the 10th time in 11 games. The only setback during that streak was a 3-2, 10-inning loss to Durant.

Meanwhile, McAlester (No. 6 in Class 5A), left town with a 13-6 record.

After taking the first pitch he saw from Wood for a called strike, Sanders hit the no-doubt-about-it home run and was mobbed by his teammates as he crossed home plate.

“The kid had a pretty good curve ball, and I was trying not to lunge. I was trying to sit on the fastball,” Sanders recalled. “I wasn’t looking for the home run, just a base hit. But it was nice to beat them, especially like that.”

Ada’s seventh-inning rally started when Josh Balch walked on four straight pitches from MHS starter Dillon Hackler with one out. Wood then took over and promptly gave up a base hit to center to Philip Tweedy. Clint Bowker then walked on four straight balls, bringing Sanders to the plate with the bases juiced.

Game over.

“We kept making plays and so did McAlester. Both teams just pounded it into the ground all day and everybody made plays. And then Chase came through again. It was just a great win,” Ada head coach Ronny Johns said. “I am really proud of my kids. They just kept competing. They’ve worked so hard.”

McAlester did all its damage in the top of the first off Ada starter Ty Gower. The AHS lefty was a little wild and walked three straight batters — Kyle Williams, Casey Gibson and Trent Homer before hitting John Andrew Martin to force in a run. Anthony Trevino then hit a double down the left field line that pushed across the final two McAlester runs.

Gower left the game after throwing 38 first-inning pitches and super utility man Chad Palmer took over mound duties for the locals beginning in the top of the second. He proceeded to retire 16 of the next 17 batters he faced (Williams reached on Ada’s only error of the game in the top of the fifth) and allowed just one hit over the final six innings — a seventh-inning bunt single to Justin Klusak. He struck out four, including three in a row during one stretch.

“Chad did a great job on the mound. He throws strikes and put it where we want him to put it. He just goes and competes,” Johns said.

The stellar relief job by Palmer will actually benefit Ada. Now Gower will get to pitch when Ada meets Lawton MacArthur Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in pool play at the Carl Albert Tournament in a the first of two Ada games at the Midwest City school. Ada will then battle Clinton at 4:30 p.m.

“It was a tough day for Ty. He just couldn’t find it. But as it turns out, it works out pretty good for us. Now I have him to throw Thursday against Lawton Mac,” Johns said.

The Cougars open play in the tournament Wednesday night, meeting Weatherford at 6:30 p.m. at Shawnee’s Ed Skelton Field in their first Pool Play game.

Ada will face Enid Friday at 4 p.m. at Del City High School with the championship round scheduled for Saturday.

Hackler worked himself in and out of several jams during six shutout innings against the Cougars. In fact, Ada had a great opportunity to answer McAlester’s quick start in the bottom of the first when Balch walked, Bowker hit a one-out single and Sanders followed with a base hit of his own to load the bases. But Hackler escaped that jam with a strikeout and a weak grounder to first base.

In the bottom of the fourth, Ada had runners at first and second with one out, but designated hitter Riley Keith hit a hard line drive to Gibson at second base, who snared the hot shot and flipped to shortstop Williams to complete an inning-ending double play.

Bowker made a couple of nice plays at second base to highlight a solid defensive outing for the Cougars. He cut off a ball behind the bag at second that looked like it was going to scurry through for a base hit and made a long throw to first to retire Kyle Wilkins in the top of the fourth.

Gower saved a run in the top of the fifth when he hustled down a well hit fly ball to right field by Gibson with a runner at second base and two outs.

McAlester had a few superb defensive efforts of its own, including a dazzling running catch by Klusak in center field on a ball smashed by Ada catcher Alex Leach. Klusak ran into the wall in right-center during the play but was able to hang on to the ball long enough for the out to be called.

It was Ada’s second straight seventh-inning comeback. The Cougars edged Noble 10-9 on a clutch hit by Quaid Johns last Saturday.

“We need to take care of that. That’s giving me more gray hairs that I want,” Johns said.

The win over the rival Buffaloes also keeps Ada’s hopes of hosting a Class 5A Regional Tournament alive and well.

“It’s a big win in more ways than one.” Johns said.