Buffs finish season in regional finals

May 4—The Buffs never quit fighting.

McAlester baseball faced off against Bishop Kelley in the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Class 5A regional final in Tulsa, where the Buffs battled but fell 3-2 to end their season.

McAlester coach Justin Mullins has talked about his teams resiliency all throughout this season, and said they've always been willing to fight until the end.

"We've got a great group of kids, and that was the thing I'm most proud of — we'd go play, and coaches and umpires would be like...'you guys are good. You're gritty, you're tough,' and I'm like 'Yeah, we are. We really are,'" he said.

Mullins also talked about how proud he is of each and every one of his players, giving everything of themselves without question to the program — and finding successes in the process.

"They do everything we ask of them. They never falter — and we're hard on them. We do a lot of tough things for them," he said. "They fight. They fight every day, they fight every game."

A defensive first few frames saw the two teams slugging it out, leaving the game scoreless heading into the bottom of the second inning. But there, the Comets used a two-out rally to jump into a 3-0 lead.

The Buffs battled back in the top of the fourth inning. Caden Lesnau led off with a double and Ethan Gillespie was walked to put two on the bags. Brayden Phillips next knocked a high-flying ball to center as a sacrifice, giving Lesnau the opportunity to score.

Ganon Mullins next added a single of his own, putting Buffaloes in the corners. That's when Ayden Shumway stepped to the place and knocked a grounder into play, giving Gillespie the chance to go into motion and score another run for McAlester — making it a 3-2 ballgame after four innings.

The Buffs never gave up the fight, battling to the end — but Bishop Kelley held off the McAlester scoring threat to seal away the win.

Phillips and Shumway led the way at the plate with an RBI each, while Lesnau struck out five in his start on the mound.

McAlester finishes its season with a record of 16-22 and a regional tournament finals appearance.