Junior Caden Lesnau is starting his third season at short stop for McAlester’s baseball team one
state title game appearance wiser.
Lesnau, who quarterbacked McAlester’s football team to a 12-3 record and state runner-up finish last fall, learned “that when people are selfless and play for the team and not worry about statistics or themselves, [they] win a lot of ball games.”
“Both programs have a very successful history, and to carry that on and know that you are part of a winning program is a great feeling,” Lesnau said. “In both programs, we are not just taught to become D[ivision] I ball players, but to become better men.”
Lesnau and the Buffaloes football team have appeared in two consecutive state championship games and come up short both times. The baseball team made it to the state tournament but fell to Piedmont in the quarterfinal game last spring.
“The losses hurt, and I will always think about what we could have done to win the game,” Lesnau said. “These losses make me and my team want to prove people wrong and show to the state that we have the team to win a state championship.”
Lesnau will also be the Buffs’ No. 2 option on the mound and will bat third, McAlester head
baseball coach Justin Mullins said.
McAlester baseball, which graduated seven seniors from its state tournament appearance, can be “very dangerous” this year, Lesnau said, if the team can play together, “and have mental toughness through the adversity we face and not fold under pressure.”
“It will take hard work, being coachable, picking up each other and making bonds and loving our teammates as family,” Lesnau said. “Because if we all come together and play for each of our brothers, then we can be successful.”
“We are breaking in six to seven new starters but feel like we have capable guys that can fill those holes lost,” Mullins said. “We lost a lot of bit bats in the lineup and will have to get the new guys going offensively to get where we need to be at the end of the season.”