The Ada High baseball team got the tying run at first base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh before its comeback fell short in a 6-4 loss to Madill Monday night at Cougar Field.
Ada fell to 0-2 to start the season after dropping a 12-4 decision at McAlester last Friday. It was the season-opener for Madill.
Ada also starts off 0-1 in District 4A-3 play. Besides Madill, other teams in 4A-3 include Ardmore, Blanchard, Byng, Plainview and Sulphur.
The Cougars trailed 6-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, but Jackson McFarlane led off the inning with a base hit. He scooted on down to second base on an errant pickoff move by Madill hurler Devon Chapa and later stole third.
McFarlane scored on an RBI groundout by Jerrett Ellis.
The Cougars extended the inning when Manny LaValley walked and Patrick Tims reached on an error, but the runners were left stranded.
Ultimately, it was wildness by Ada’s first three pitchers that did the Cougars in. The trio of Tovan Thomsen, Hunter Conklin and Bradyn Smalley combined for nine walks and three hit batters. Of the six runs scored by the Wildcats, five reached base via a free pass.
“That’s the story,” said new Ada’s new head coach Austin Jarvis. “That’s just too many free bases. If we eliminate that and get a couple of big hits in innings where we had runners in scoring position, this game’s the other way around.”
The Cougars got on the scoreboard first when Christian Maloy hit a one-out single in the bottom of the second inning, stole second and raced home on a run-scoring hit by Trel Moore.
Devon Chapa walked, and Tanner Barnes was hit by a pitch to start the Madill third inning. Chapa went to third on a flyout, and Barnes quickly stole second. Both runners then scored on the same passed ball to put Madill ahead 2-1.
Tahlon Hamilton and Wylbe Roberts walked to lead off the top of the fourth inning for the Wildcats, advanced on a passed ball and scored on nine-hole hitter Case Coble’s two-RBI single that pushed the MHS advantage to 4-1.
Ada scored twice in the bottom of the fourth. Patric Tims reached on a two-base error to lead off the frame and went to third on a single by Moore, who finished 3-for-3 to lead the Ada offense. Moore stole second, and both runners scored on a two-RBI double by Ada nine-hole hitter Bo Charboneau, as Ada sliced the Madill lead to 4-3.
Madill added its final two runs in the top of the sixth inning. Hamilton walked for the third time in the contest, and pinch-hitter Aaron Vann followed with a bunt single. Hamilton went all the way to third on the play, and Vann stole second.
Coble — who finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs — drove in the first run with a single, and Vann scored on a sacrifice fly by Chapa to give Madill a 6-3 lad.
Ada outhit Madill 8-4 and committed just one error.
Madill starting pitcher Jake McHatton pitched five solid innings. The lefty struck out eight and walked just one batter in 5.1 innings.
The Cougars appear just a few pitches and plays from getting back on the winning track.
“We’re really close, but at this point that doesn’t really matter. We have to get over the hump and fix those things,” Jarvis said. “Some of our pitchers haven’t been out here too long. Once they get settled in, hopefully we can establish a rotation, and we should be OK.”
Ada was at Madill Tuesday night and travels to Little Axe at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. That contest was originally scheduled to be a home game but was changed so Ada baseball fans would be closer to the OKC area to make it easier to attend the Ada boys basketball team’s state tournament game set for 7 p.m. at Deer Creek High School.
Monday, March 5
At Cougar Field
Madill 6, Ada 4
MADILL 102 202 0 — 6 4 2
ADA 010 200 1 — 4 8 1
Jake McHatton, Devon Chapa (6) and Tanner Barnes. Tovan Thomsen, Hunter Conklin (3), Bradyn Smalley (6), Jerrett Ellis (7) and Trel Moore. WP-McHatton. LP-Conklin (0-1). 2B-Bo Charnoneau (A). HL-Case Coble 2-3 3 RBIs, Aaron Vann 1-1, Tahlon Hamilton 0-1, 3 BB, 2 RS (M); Trel Moore 3-3, RBI, RS, Charboneau 1-2, 2 RBIs, Jackson McFarlane 2-4, RS (A).