The Ada Cougars and McAlester Buffaloes were heading in opposite directions going into Thursday evening’s matchup at Mike Deak Field.
Coach Ronny Johns’ team was riding a four-game winning streak while McAlester had endured a four-game nosedive.
And it looked like that trend would continue when Ada scored two quick runs in the top of the first inning.
But McAlester scored nine runs over the second and third innings — all with two outs — and rode that momentum to a 15-7 run rule victory that bucked the current trend for both teams.
Ada fell to 10-12 on the season while McAlester moved to 9-11.
The Cougars trailed 10-4 after three innings, but closed within three with three runs (also scored with two outs) in the top of the fourth.
Cody Johnson laced an RBI double down the left field line to push across the first run of the fourth and Jackson Boone followed with a fly ball double to dead center field that got over the head of McAlester defender Jon Barickman that scored the next two Ada runs. The Cougars still had runners at first and third after ball four to Caleb Balch got past McAlester catcher Troy Meadows, but reliever Carter Cumbie used a strikeout to get out of the inning with the Buffs still on op 10-7.
Ada should have had at least one more run in the inning, but after Easton Pingleton walked, Cale Russell hit a ground ball to second base. Clint Barnett tossed the ball to Cumbie — playing shortstop at that time — but Pingleton broke up the double play attempt with a nice slide. But the field umpire called Pingleton for interference, making Russell the victim of the unusual double play.
After Ada went quietly in the top half of the fifth, Russell — Ada’s second pitcher of the game — walked eight-hole hitter Jeremy Otis (who drew his third straight free pass) to lead off the MHS fifth. The next two McAlester hitters reached on errors, allowing one Buffalo run to score to make it 11-7.
Then, after a walk to Josh Donato, Meadows belted a 2-2 pitch over the left field walk-off grand slam that sent the McAlester faithful — and his teammates — into a frenzied celebration.
In the top of the first, Pingleton reached on an infield hit, stole second and scurried home on an RBI double by Russell, who would later come home on a RBI hit by Cody Johnson.
Ada hurler Ryan Kinder looked like he would cruise in the bottom of the second, getting a strikeout and a lazy fly ball for two quick outs. But after Otis walked for the first time, McAlester strung together six consecutive hits — including Cumbie’s two-run single and RBI doubles by Donato and Dakota Mize to extend the Buffs lead to 10-4.
Ada was down by five heading into the top of the third when Mason Girdley singled to center and Balch blasted a two-run homer just to the left of the 332-feet sign in left field that cut the McAlester lead to 7-4.
The Cougars had 10 hits in the contest but stranded eight runners in the five-inning affair. Cody Johnson and Girdley were the only Ada batters with two hits but eight of the Cougars’ nine offensive starters had at least one hit.
Donato finished 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs to pace an 11-hit McAlester attack. Cumbie went 2-for-4 and scored four times while Meadows had two hits and five RBIs.
Ada returns to action Monday when local rival Byng visits Cougar Field for a 5 p.m. matchup.