The Comanche Rangers came from behind in Wednesday’s first game of elimination play in the TTAB 8U Machine Pitch tournament to down the Hillsboro Bad News Bears, 18-17, with a walk-off single by Israel Medrano to knock in Maddox Garcia for the winning score in the sixth inning.
With the score 17-13, the Rangers started with a pair of hits by Trent Kirkland and Miguel Martinez. Layden Welch laid down a grounder along the third base line and scored Kirkland. Then the drama intensified as Ethan Morin pounced on a 3-2 pitch and took it downtown for a three-run homer to tie the game.
With no outs, all Comanche needed was one run to score. Garcia then singled to put the winning run aboard. Garcia got to third base on a steal to second and a throwing error to third. With the next pitch, Medrano emptied the bleachers with his walk-off single to win the game, scoring Garcia.
The Hillsboro bats were hot early as it took a 4-0 lead after the first inning. Comanche went scoreless and then stepped up on defense with key plays by the shortstop Martinez, who was all over the infield making defensive stops and throwing out Hillsboro base runners.
The second inning for the Rangers began with Garcia lining a pitch to center field for a single. Ezequiel Medrano added a single to set up Todd Buckmaster who hit an inside the park home run. Kirkland kept the rally going as he singled to right field. Martinez then knocked in Kirkland with his first RBI of the day to tie the game at 4.
The Bears’ bats got a pair of singles to start off the third. The Ranger defense held once again, with Martinez making two force out throws to second base for back-to-back outs. The Bears then loaded the bases. With two outs, the Rangers got out of the inning with another force play at second.
The Rangers went scoreless in the third. In the fourth inning, the Hillsboro bats came back to life, scoring four more runs to put them the Bears up, 8-4.
Comanche roared back with Kirkland and Martinez getting base hits to set up Morin, who belted a three-run homer to left field over the Bear’s outfielders heads to make the score 8-7. Garcia then came to the plate and singled to right field. Ezequiel Medrano continued the Rangers rally by banging a home run to center field, putting the Rangers in front for the first time 9-8.
Buckmaster doubled in a run and Kirkland doubled in two more to make the score 11-8 Rangers. The Rangers had scored their allowed seven runs per inning in Machine Pitch rules and Hillsboro took over in the top of the fifth.
The Bears quickly added to their run total, scoring six runs in the fifth and going back up 14-11.
Martinez and Welch led off the Rangers’ fifth with singles. Morin got the next RBI with a hit straight up the middle. Garcia got the second RBI of the inning to make the score 14-13.
The Rangers loaded the bases, but came up short in the fifth as Aaron Leal hit a grounder for the force out at second base.
The Bears scored three runs in the top of the sixth to make the Comanche comeback necessary.
Rusk 14, Comanche 3
The Comanche Rangers’ run at the TTAB 8U Machine Pitch State Tournament came to a close Wednesday night with a 14-3 loss at the hands of the Rusk Rangers.
Comanche batted first and got on the scoreboard after base hits by Kirkland, Martinez and Welch. Morin got a base hit after Kirkland was thrown out on a force to third. Garcia then got a RBI single to score Kirkland. Ezequiel Medrano struck out to end the inning.
Rusk answered in the first inning with a triple, two singles and three runs to make the score 3-1.
Comanche’s next at bat bore no fruit, as Israel Medrano popped out to the pitcher, Buckmaster struck out and Kirkland grounded out. Leal was the lone stranded baserunner after a single.
Rusk scored seven runs on six hits and three throwing errors by Comanche to end the inning because of the seven run mercy rule.
Comanche came back to score two runs with Welch hitting a triple and Morin driving home a run on a sacrifice grounder.
Rusk answered in the bottom of the third with three more runs making the score 13-3.
In the fourth inning, Comanche got two hits by Kirkland and Leal, but failed to capitalize as they left the runners stranded on second and third.
Rusk scored one more in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 14-3.
The top of the fifth inning was Comanche’s last chance to make a comeback. Welch got on board with a base hit followed by Morin hitting into a double play at first. The Rusk first baseman was going to catch a pop fly straight at him, but dropped the ball instead and proceeded to tag Welch, then the base completing the odd double play.
The last chance for the Comanche Rangers to extend their season rested on the bat of Ezequiel Medrano, who promptly struck out. The game was then called on the 10 run mercy rule in favor of the Rusk Rangers.
Boys 8U Machine Pitch
Monday, July 22 - Thursday, July 25
at Brownwood’s Massey Sports Complex
Game 1: Rogers Eagles 4, Pleasant Grove Cardinals 3
Game 2: Mexia Texans 19, Edgewood Dirt Dawgs 16
Game 3: Rusk Rangers 16, Brownwood Giants 8
Game 4: Blooming Grove Lions 10, Temple Aces 1
Game 5: Hillsboro Bad News Bears 14, Harker Heights Hot Rods 2
Game 6: Comanche Rangers 15, Alba Golden Bears 7
Game 7: Whitney Wildcats 17, Brownwood Cardinals 9
Game 8: Rogers Eagles 8, BMC Warriors 7
Game 9: Rusk Rangers 15, Mexia Texans 1
Game 10: Blooming Grove Lions 16, Hillsboro Bad News Bears 8
Game 11: Whitney Wildcats 15, Comanche Rangers 4
Game 12: Harker Heights Hot Rods 16, Temple Aces 8
Game 13: Alba Golden Panthers 24, Brownwood Cardinals 16
Game 14: Edgewood Dirt Dawgs 19, Brownwood Giants 11
Game 15: Hillsboro Bad News Bears 16, Pleasant Grove Cardinals 1
Game 16: BMC Warriors 11, Harker Heights Hot Rods 10
Game 17: Mexia Texans 23, Alba Golden Panthers 8
Game 18: Comanche Rangers 17, Edgewood Dirt Dawgs 2
Game 19: Rogers Eagles 11, Rusk Rangers 7
Game 20: Blooming Grove Lions 9, Whitney Wildcats 3
Game 21: BMC Warriors 16, Mexia Texans 8
Game 22: Comanche Rangers 18, Hillsboro Bad News Bears 17
Game 23: Whitney Wildcats 14, BMC Warriors 13
Game 24: Rusk Rangers 14, Comanche Rangers 3
Game 25: Rogers Eagles 15, Blooming Grove Lions 12
Game 26: Whitney Wildcats 22, Rusk Rangers 11
Game 27: Whitney Wildcats vs. Blooming Grove Lions, 11 a.m. Thursday, Field 1
Game 28 (CHAMPIONSHIP): Rogers Eagles vs. Game 27 winner, 6 p.m. Thursday, Field 3
Game 29 (IF NEEDED): Game 28 winner vs. Game 28 loser, 8 p.m. Thursday, Field 3