Both teams headed to state in Buffalo July 24

Trailing by two runs with two outs in the top of the sixth and final inning, the Brownwood Nationals tallied three runs to stun the Coleman Bluecats, 8-7, to earn TTAB District 3 8U Machine Pitch Tournament Championship Thursday at the Massey Sports Complex.

Both the champion Nationals and runner-up Bluecats will help comprise the field at the 16-team state tournament in Buffalo beginning Monday, July 24.

Coleman led 7-5 when the sixth began and retired the first two Nationals batters of the inning. Braiden Brown then reached on an infield single and later scored on an RBI base hit up the middle by Kameron Garza. Levi Pearson followed with an RBI single that allowed Garza to race home with the tying run. Javien’n Lopez then grounded to shortstop but a high throw to first allowed him to reach base and Pearson to score from second base with the decisive run.

In the bottom of the sixth, Coleman’s Brady Elder reached on a one-out miscue but was erased when Brayden Hurtado got on board via a fielder’s choice. With two outs, Chantz Adams beat out an infield single, but Hunter Edington then popped out to Brown at third base to end the contest.

The Bluecats opened a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Hurtado doubled home Hagen Perkins and Edington tripled home Hurtado and Adams.

The Nationals drew even at 3 in the top of the fourth on back-to-back infield singles from Bennett Windham and Brayden Moya and a three-run homer to right-center field by Brown — all with two outs.

Brownwood grabbed a 5-3 lead in the fourth as Pearson singled over second base and scored on an RBI ground out by Wyatt Wolf. Levi Cline then singled home Lopez, who also reached on a base hit.

Coleman regained a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring all four of its runs on uncharacteristic Nationals errors.

The Nationals reached the championship game with a 16-8 victory over the Early Rangers Wednesday.

The Nationals took the lead over the Rangers for good Wednesday by breaking a 6-all tie with four two-out runs in the bottom of fourth.

Brown began the spurt when he reached base on a fielder’s choice, while an error allowed Wolf to get on board and Brown to score. Garza then singled ahead of an RBI double by Pearson. Blayne Stegemoller’s two-RBI single over first base stretched the lead to four runs.

The Rangers crept within 10-8 in the top of the fifth, but would not get another turn at the plate.

Sirr Beam started the inning with a double and Tommy Groom followed with an RBI double. With one out, Cole Callison’s RBI ground out drove in Groom.

The Nationals’ game-ending six-run bottom of the fifth featured Layton Greer and Cline reaching on consecutive singles. Windham and Moya followed with back-to-back RBI singles. Brown reached on a pop up that dropped behind second base, which allowed Windham and Moya to cross the plate. Garza then drove in Brown with a one-out RBI single, while Wolf’s RBI single to right field plated Garza with the final run.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Reese Hamm led off with a single and scored on an RBI ground out by Callison.

The Nationals grabbed a 5-1 edge in the bottom of the first as Windham doubled with one out and scored the tying run on an RBI single by Moya. With two outs, Wolf singled to keep the inning alive, then Garza, Pearson, Stegemoller and Lopez followed with consecutive RBI base hits.

The Rangers cut the deficit to 5-2 in the top of the second as Beam tripled with two outs and scored on an RBI single by Groom.

The gap further dwindled to 5-4 in the top of the third as Callison led off with a double for the Rangers and scored on an RBI infield single by Cal Hatton, who later came home on an RBI base hit by Ivan Rodriguez.

The Nationals extended their lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the third as Pearson led off with a single and scored on Lopez’s RBI base hit up the middle.

The Rangers evened the score at 6 in the top of the fourth as Kaden Watkins singled home Andrew Reedy, who reached on a fielder’s choice, and Hatton singled home Callison, who reached on a base hit.