Both teams to compete at state tournament in Groesbeck July 24

The Brownwood Cubs completed an unblemished run through the TTAB District 4 14U Tournament Saturday, chalking up two more wins — including a 10-0 triumph over the Early Orange in the weekend finale.

Both the Cubs and the Orange will represent District 4 at the 11-team TTAB 14U State Tournament in Groesbeck the week of July 24.

Early fought out of the loser’s bracket to reach the championship game, edging Cross Plains, 11-10, Friday night; blasting Brady, 19-5, Saturday morning; and cruising past the Brownwood Diamondbacks, 12-3, Saturday evening.

The Cubs punched their ticket to state and the district tournament final with a 19-11 victory over the Diamondbacks in a game that began at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Tied at 9 going to the bottom of the fourth inning, the Cubs were finally able to distance themselves thanks to a six-run outburst.

With one out in the inning, Kris Hobbs and Payton Williams walked consecutively, then Jeremy Martinez reached on an error that scored Hobbs and put the Cubs in front for good. Williams scored on a wild pitch during the at-bat of Nathan Wheelington, who drew a free pass against Diamondbacks starter Jakob Hataway. Jayden Cain was then intentionally walked when reliever Xadrian Mares took over the mound. Jacob Franklin followed and ripped a two-RBI single into right field that plated Martinez and Wheelington and stretched the lead to 13-9. Cain later scored on the back end of a double steal with Franklin, while Brandon Hamrick’s RBI single allowed Franklin to cross the plate.

The Diamondbacks closed the gap to 15-11 in the top of the fifth as Josiah Campos walked and scored on an RBI double by Hataway, who came home to score on an error after stealing second base.

The Cubs tacked on four insurance runs in their final at-bat in the bottom of the fifth inning, as the 2 1/2-hour time limit expired in the top of the sixth, where the Diamondbacks were held scoreless.

Hobbs walked to start the fifth for the Cubs and scored on an RBI double by Williams. Martinez then reached on an error, allowing Williams to cross the plate. Cain later singled in Martinez, and Jace Vasquez plated Cain with a base hit to left field.

The Diamondbacks grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Hataway reached on an infield single off Cain, the Cubs’ starting and winning pitcher, while Isyah Campos walked. Mares then singled home Hataway, while Campos scored on a two-out error.

The Cubs answered with five runs in the bottom of the first without the aid of a base hit. A hit batter, a walk, two batters reaching on dropped third strikes, and four Diamondback errors in the field resulted in a 5-2 Cubs lead after one.

In the top of the second, the Diamondbacks reduced the gap to 5-4 as Elias Huerta and Josiah Campos singled and both scored on a two-out, two-RBI single to left field by Isyah Campos.

The Diamondbacks regained a 7-5 edge in the top of the third as Trynton Slaughter and Blaize Espinoza singled and scored on a two-RBI single to right field by Huerta to push the Diamondbacks in front. Huerta later stole home cleanly.

The Cubs fired back with a four-spot in the bottom of the third, reclaiming a 9-7 edge. Williams singled and scored on a wild pitch and Martinez walked and was brought home on an RBI single by Wheelington to even the score at 7. Cain then plated Wheelington to push the Cubs back in front, while Hamrick walked and was driven in on an RBI single by Ryan Wooldridge.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Diamondbacks drew even at 9 as Isyah Campos walked, Mares doubled and both scored thanks to a two-RBI single by Slaughter.