The Antlers Bearcats traveled to Atoka March 29th – 31st to compete in the Atoka Wooden Bat Classic. In the first game, the Bearcats faced the Atoka J.V. team with senior Michael Lampton on the mound. He started the game hot, with three strike outs but the Bearcats didn’t do any better and failed to gain any runners. The second inning found the Wampus Cats unable to score, yet again but Antlers got fired up scoring 10 runs. Chandon Draper, Bryce Carter, Michael Lampton, Timmy Kuykandall, and Caleb Smith all made well placed hits and moved runners. The third inning would be the last of the game with the run rule coming into effect after Atoka was held scoreless again and Dakota Turner and Drew McKnight crossed home plate bring the score to 13-0.
In the second game of the tournament Antlers played McAlester’s J.V. team. Dakota Turner pitched this round and picked up 2 strike outs in the first inning while Bryce Martin made the third. The Bearcats wouldn’t make it to base in this inning either. The second inning would repeat this all the way down to Turner striking out two batters and Martin making the last out and no Bearcats reaching base while at bat. The third inning remained scoreless for both teams. The only difference being McKnight and Lampton would deliver two outs and Turner would strike out the third. Defensively the Bearcats would still hold McAlester at zero but offensively they would finally get their first runs on the score board. Three runners moved around the bases as Caleb Smith got a single, Arizona Taylor, Lampton, and Kuykendall got walked. In the top of the fifth Turner would strike out one batter and Lampton at short stop would make a fielder’s choice to throw out a runner going to second. Christian Thatcher got the last out with a beautiful catch in left field. The Bearcats would score another run in the bottom of the fifth with Martin, Smith, and Taylor, getting on base and Draper smashing a double to the center field. The sixth inning would see Turner tossing strikes for two of the outs. While McKnight burnt down a runner attempting to steal home with the help of Taylor at catcher. Antlers stayed at four runs despite Lampton drawing a walk and Turner singling. The Bearcats ended the game with McKnight blocking a hard hit grounder for the first out and Lampton scooping up the last two outs at short stop. The finale score was 4-2 with Antlers in the win column.
Antlers battled Atoka varsity in the championship game. The Bearcats lost the toss and failed to score in the first inning. Atoka would do the same and the second inning began at 0-0. Antlers stayed at zero, only managing to get on base with a walk from Lampton. Atoka would manage two runs before Thatcher, Turner, and McKnight produced three outs to finish off the inning. The top of three saw the Bearcats on the scoreboard with Thatcher hitting a single and then advancing to third due to an overthrow. McKnight sent Thatcher home with a double to center. The bottom of three saw three Wampus Cats come up and three sent down. Taylor caught the first out with a fly to right field. McKnight scooped up a grounder at third and threw out the runner at first. And finally Carter laid out for a spectacular diving catch to put Antlers back at bat. But the Bearcats were unable to score with only Taylor singling to right field. Atoka came out swinging and scored three runs before McKnight could throw out two runners and Lampton picked up the last. In the fifth inning the score stayed 5-1 in Atoka’s favor as only McKnight was able to get on base but no runs scored. Atoka was in the same boat, as Turner turned a double play and Draper caught a fly. In the sixth inning Lampton dropped in a single to center but was unable to score. Atoka moved in another run bring the score to 6-1. The top of the seventh inning would be the last as McKnight got another hit to center but it wasn’t enough rally the Bearcats. Atoka would take the win and the trophy with a final score of 6-1.View more articles in: