EASTLAND — The Early Longhorns witnessed the Brock Eagles score in four of five innings en route to taking control of their Region I-3A area playoff series with an 11-1, five-inning victory Thursday.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday in Eastland with Game 3, if needed, set for 1 p.m. Saturday back at Eastland.
District 7-3A champion Brock (25-3) recorded a dozen hits — including a pair of home runs — and drew four walks off the Early pitching tandem of Christian Alcorta and Miguel Elizondo.
Meanwhile, the District 6-3A runner-up Longhorns (18-13) were limited to five hits and two walks by Brock’s Jase Lopez, who went the distance to collect the victory.
Brock raced out to a 3-0 lead after one inning that grew to 8-0 through two frames. Early scored its lone run in the third inning, the only inning in which the Eagle offense was quiet, but Brock tacked one its ninth run in the fourth and its final two runs in the fifth.
Jackson Hardison homered twice and finished 3-for-3 with 5 RBIs to ignite Brock’s offense. Trent Patino added three hits and three runs scored, Christian Stites chipped in a 2-for-3 effort with a pair of RBIs and Lopez singled and drove in two runs. Noah Nye, Cole Lightfoot and Bryce Nye also contributed hits for the Eagles.
Kylar Mercer, Trace Evans, Jonathan Morales, Devyn Burns and Horton each singled for Early.
The Longhorns’ run in the third inning was the result of back-to-back singles by Burns and Mercer to start the frame, then an RBI sacrifice fly by Alcorta plated Burns.