Austin Gonzalez hit a walk-off fielder's choice and the Shawnee Wolves deposited McAlester with a 12-4 run-rule Friday at Shawnee's Ed Skelton Field.
Self reached base after being hit in the head on a pitch and Creed Killgore moved him to third with a double to left field. Gonzalez hit a chopper to short and the Buffaloes threw home too late to stop the run as Self crossed for the walk-off.
Jacob Hill took advantage of an error and a walk to set him up for a 3-run bomb to right center in the bottom of the second to get the Wolves ahead 3-0 early on. The hit was a big boost for the Shawnee veteran, who has been having some challenges early into the season.
“He had been struggling a little bit,” coach Kevin Paxson said. “He's worked really hard the last couple days kind of staying up the middle, right-center and it paid off today.”
Shawnee added three more on four hits in the bottom of the third to take a 6-0 lead. Austin Wood and Self cracked off back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the frame and Jay Easley singled to bring both home to take a 5-0 advantage. Easley stole third and scored on a passed ball.
The Buffaloes got three runs in the top of the fourth to cut Shawnee's lead in half after a couple of errors left them frazzled. An error at short with two outs put a runner on base and pitcher Brandon Eropkin tossed an easy lob over Hill's head at first to put runners at the corners.
Eropkin gave up three singles and beaned a batter after the errors and was replaced with Morgan Lunceford for the remainder.
Paxson said the mistake was uncharacteristic for Eropkin and he got into his own head.
“I think it kind of rattled him a little bit, because usually he doesn't do that, that's uncharacteristic of him,” he said. “I think it kind of surprised hime and looked up and before he knew it gave up a few runs, and that gave a momentum swing to them,”
The minor setback didn't faze the Wolves though as Self, Killgore and Cale Reed each doubled in the fourth and five runs came across.
Easley was 2-3 with two singles and drove in two runs but reached base on all three attempts and scored twice. Gonzalez replaced him on the bags the third time around and came home on a walk to Nick Bowlan in the fourth. Self was 2-3 with a double, Killgore 2-2 with a pair of doubles and drove in two runs and Wood singled twice.
Paxson's crew put in some work to improve their hitting lately, he said.
“We worked hard last week on swinging the bat, being aggressive, shorten our swings up and try to work back into the middle and I think it paid off today,” he said.
Eropkin no-hit for two innings and gave up three runs on four hits. Lunceford gave up one run on one hit and walked one.
Shawnee (4-3) travels to Deer Creek Friday, March 23, at 5 p.m.