By Jimmy Potts
jpotts@brownwoodbulletin.com

BANGS— The Bangs Dragons bested the Early Longhorns in the first round of District 6-3A play after a five-run sixth inning.
The Dragons overcame a 2-0 deficit and eventually took the game thanks to solid pitching and taking advantage when they had runners in scoring position.
“We let them get a rally going and let them get the lead,” Early coach Todd Hatton said. “You can’t do that against a pitcher like [Colton] Brewer. We had several opportunities to add on runs with runners in scoring position and we didn’t. Against a pitcher like that, you have to take advantage of your opportunities when you get a chance.”
The Longhorns lit up the scoreboard in the first inning, when Ryan Hill reached home on a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Morales. In the second, a single by Brandon Lombrano plated Jesson Tarrant, but Early’s bats went silent until the sixth thanks to Brewer’s 12-strikeout performance. Brewer seemed to wear down in the seventh, giving way to closer Austin Hall.
“The pitch count kind of limits you,” Brewer said. “I threw my 110 (pitches) and had faith in Austin to come in and finish it. He’s pitched well all year so I didn’t have a problem with it.”
Bangs trailed until the third inning when Zach Zink drove in a pair of runs after roping a liner around third base. Hall eventually tied the game after reaching home on an errant throw to third after a failed pickoff attempt. The Dragons then went quiet until a slew of Early walks had Dragon runners threatening in scoring position and an RBI single by Steven Montgomery set off an explosive sixth inning.
“We have been in that situation before this year,” Bangs coach Keith Meador said. “We’ve been in situations before where we’ve been behind and we never quit. We fought back into the game, but we were never able to hold onto them. Tonight, we had a few breaks go our way and got a couple of big hits when we needed them.”