LUBBOCK — The Brownwood Lions picked up their first victory of the 2018 baseball season Saturday night, the last of three weekend games in Lubbock after weather forced the cancellation of the Iowa Park tournament.
Brownwood opened the season with losses of 11-2 to Canyon and 7-3 to Lubbock Monterey Friday, but rallied with a 6-5 triumph over Lubbock Coronado Saturday night — a game in which the Lions squandered a three-run lead late.
But Rylan Reagan's two-out RBI double to left field in the top of the seventh inning plated the winning run in the Lions victory over Coronado.
After witnessing Coronado erase a three-run deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning, Gavon Clemons reached on a one-out single to center field, then Reagan came through with the biggest hit of the young season for the Lions.
Brownwood finished with six extra-base hits and 14 hits total as a team, including two each by the first six batters in the lineup — Cain Kittrell, Grayson Swanzy, Clemons, Hunter Leonard, Reagan and Jakob Dorsett. Hayden Donahoo and Reece Rodgers also chipped in hits.
Dorsett's two RBIs were a team-best followed by one each from Swanzy, Clemons, Leonard and Reagan.
On the mound, Donahoo got the start and worked 5.1 innings, allowing three runs — one earned — on two hits with nine strikeouts and five walks. Dorsett surrendered two runs on two hits and a walk without retiring a batter, while Swanzy pitched 1.2 innings and yielded one hit with one strikeout to notch the win.
The Lions jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, which Coronado reduced to 3-2 after two frames. Brownwood then tacked on single runs in the fourth and fifth to re-establish its three-run cushion.
During Brownwood's three-run first, Swanzy doubled with one out and Clemons followed with an RBI triple to center field. Leonard was next up and duplicated that feat with an RBI triple to center that plated Clemons. With two outs, Dorsett drilled an RBI grounder to right field that knocked in Leonard.
The Lions pushed their lead to 4-2 in the fourth as Swanzy's two-out RBI single to left drove home Donahoo, who led off the inning with an infield single to shortstop.
Brownwood pushed its lead to 5-2 in the fifth as Leonard led off with a double to left field and came home on Dorsett's one-out RBI single up the middle.
A two-out, bases-loaded triple in the bottom of the sixth allowed Coronado to draw even at 5.
In Friday's 11-2 loss to Canyon, the Lions fell victim to a seven-run top of the fifth inning. Brownwood trailed just 3-1 at that point and added another run in the bottom of the fifth, but the deficit was too great to overcome.
The Lions generated just four hits — two from Kittrell and one apiece by Dorsett and Clemons, who drove in both Lion runs. Swanzy, Rodgers and Dorsett reached base via walks.
Brownwood used four pitchers on the mound as Reagan saw the most work, yielding seven runs — five earned — on four hits with five strikeouts and three walks. Mason Ryden, in 2.1 innings of relief, gave up two runs — one earned — on a pair of hits with a strikeout.
The Lions trailed 1-0 heading to the bottom of the first inning where they evened the score. Kittrell led off with a single, Swanzy followed with a walk and Clemons delivered a one-out RBI single to left field to plate Kittrell.
Brownwood's run in the fifth was the result of an RBI sacrifice fly by Clemons, who drove in Kittrell after he reached on a leadoff error.
In Friday's 7-3 to Monterey, the Lions dug themselves a three-run hole early, closed the deficit to a single run, then surrendered five more.
Monterey finished with 11 hits compared to four for Brownwood. Reagan doubled, while Swanzy, Clemons and Leonard each added singles. Kittrell, Swanzy and Dorsett also drew walks.
The Lions again sent four pitchers to the mound with Caleb Hernandez receiving the most action, allowing eight runs — seven earned — on 10 hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Reagan, Ryden and Dorsett teamed up to surrendered one hit with two strikeouts and one walk in 1.2 innings of relief.
Brownwood's two-run fourth inning trimmed the deficit to 3-2 as Swanzy and Leonard singled to start the frame, then came home on a one-out, two-RBI single to left field by Reagan.
Trailing 7-2 in the top of the sixth, the Lions scored their final run as Swanzy reached on a leadoff error and came home on an RBI single to left field by Clemons.
Brownwood (1-2) will be back in action at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Lorena in a game that will be played in Lampasas.