Early to challenge Belton at 6 p.m. Wednesday in do-or-die tilt

The Early Huskers rallied from a four-run deficit to keep their TTAB 12U Open Base state championship hopes alive with a 10-4 victory over the Brownwood Pirates Tuesday night at the Massey Sports Complex.

Early began the tournament with a 3-1 loss to the Brownwood Angels Monday night, while the Pirates knocked off the McGregor Raiders, 19-10, in their first game Monday night before falling to the Rusk Sox by a 13-12 count.

The Huskers will face the Belton Rattlers at 6 p.m. Wednesday in elimination action.

Huskers 10, Pirates 4

(Tuesday)

After spotting the Brownwood Pirates the first four runs, the Early Huskers stormed back for their first victory in the state tournament.

Trailing 4-2, the Huskers swung the momentum firmly in their favor with six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Hayden Schroeder led off with a single, then Sebastian Constancia drew a walk. Schroeder scored when Wagner Shelton struck out for the first out of the inning, but the third strike was dropped and a throw down to first base became necessary, resulting in the Huskers’ third run. Aiden Chapleau followed with an RBI single to left field that drove home Constancia with the tying run.

After a walk by Jeremy Brown, Caleb McCullough drilled a grounder to shortstop, but a wild throw allowed both Brown and Chapleau to score to give Early its first lead, 6-4. Caydon Laird then doubled to right field in front of an RBI sacrifice fly from Ki Houston that plated McCullough. Laird later scored when Ethan Pallette reached on a two-out throwing error.

Early tacked on two more insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth as Schroeder walked and scored on Justin Pierce’s RBI double, while Chapleau’s RBI single drove in Pierce.

The Pirates grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning as Mikol Mendoza led off with a walk and scored on an RBI bases-loaded walk by Colbin Burleson. Later in the frame, Sir Jones — who also drew a free pass — came home on a wild pitch during Austin Barnum’s at-bat.

Brownwood extended its lead to 4-0 in the top of the third as Jordan Leach drew a leadoff walk and scored on Atticus Porter’s RBI double to right-center field. Porter later crossed the plate when Mendoza reached on a throwing error.

The Huskers began to whittle away at the Pirates’ lead in the bottom of the third as Brown walked and McCullough singled with one out, and both came home on wild pitches.

Pirates 19, McGregor Raiders 10

(Monday)

The Brownwood Pirates generated 31 runs in their first two games at the TTAB 12U Open Base State Tournament at the Massey Sports Complex Monday night, but split the two decisions to fall into the elimination bracket.

The Pirates began the day with a 19-10 victory over the McGregor Raiders, while the Rusk Sox rallied in the nightcap for a 13-12 triumph over Brownwood.

In Monday’s opener, the Pirates took control with a nine-run top of the first inning. McGregor crept within three runs on two occasions, but Brownwood tacked on seven more runs in the top of the sixth inning to pull away for a comfortable victory.

Brownwood’s first inning featured a leadoff double to right-center field by Leach followed by an error that allowed Porter to reach and Leach to score. Trey Toft then singled home Porter ahead of a walk by Mendoza. Gavin Brandstetter then delivered a two-RBI single to center that scored Toft and Mendoza. Campbell Gilmore followed with an infield single, then Jones’ RBI base hit knocked in Brandstetter. Ike Hall then reached on an error that allowed Jones to score. Later in the inning, Porter and Toft added singles as the Pirates sent 14 batters to the plate to generate the nine runs.

McGregor closed the gap to 9-6 in the bottom of the second inning, scoring on an RBI bases-loaded walk by Brayden Patterson, an RBI single to left field by Caden Byford and four balks by Brownwood pitchers.

The Pirates pushed the lead back to five runs, 11-6, in the top of the third as Barnum and Hall started the frame with walks and both scored on a two-out, two-RBI double to left-center field by Porter.

McGregor added single runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings as Dawson Keller walked and scored on a wild pitch and Valon Vickers singled and came home on an RBI ground out by Byford.

Leading 11-8, Brownwood added a run in the fifth as Hall reached on an error to start the frame and came home on an RBI ground out by Burleson.

Carrying a 12-8 lead into their final at-bat, the Pirates added plenty of insurance in the sixth. Brandstetter and Gilmore singled to start the inning while Jones and Barnum walked. The first three scored on wild pitches or passed balls, while Hall singled home Barnum. Leach also drew a free pass in front of a three-RBI double by Porter, which essentially iced the game for Brownwood.

Trailing 19-8 heading into its last at-bat, McGregor mustered just two runs.

The Pirates then faced the Rusk Sox, who drew a first-round bye, and fell by one run.