By CRAIG HALL
POTEAU–The start to the 2012 baseball season has been like a roller coaster for Poteau’s baseball season.
The Pirates started at the bottom of the ride with a loss to Muldrow, went high with a win at Roland, took another dip with a loss to Northside and then hit the top again Friday with a 10-6 win over Checotah.
Poteau was originally scheduled to play a pair of games Saturday against Checotah and Broken Bow, but the games were moved up and shortened because of expected bad weather.
Wilson Klutts pitched the final four innings to get the win in relief of Jace Pitchford, who pitched the first three innings and left with a 6-5 lead.
The Pirates get out of a big jam in the sixth inning. Leading 6-5, Checotah loaded the bases with only one out. The Wildcats tried to tie the score with a suicide squeeze, but the batter missed the bunt and Poteau catcher Kaydon Evans chased down Leland Walker and tagged him out for the second out.
Poteau got another out and escaped with the lead. The Pirates put the game away in the bottom of the sixth as Pitchford got on when his fly to center field was dropped.
Jake McMillin slammed a double to deep left center, moving Pitchford to third. Klutts’ ground out brought in Pitchford and McMillin scored on a single by Blake Roley. Roley eventually scored on a wild pitch and Hunter Bradshaw, running for Michael Didway, added the final run on a double by Evans.
The Pirates got off to a quick start in the first inning and scored four runs with a pair of doubles from Klutts and Didway the big blows.
Checotah countered with a single run in the first and four runs in the third to take the lead.
Poteau regained the lead for good in the bottom of the third as Evans doubled again and Stephen Smith followed with a single. Both scored and Poteau was on top 6-5, bringing in Klutts to pitch.
Klutts improved to 2-0 on the season with wins in both of the Pirates’ victories. He was 3-4 with three RBI and a double. Evans also had a big day, going 3-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI while Roley was 2-4.
The 2-2 Pirates are back in action Tuesday when they host Hilldale.