By Derrick Stuckly
The two-time defending state champion and fourth-ranked Abilene Wylie Bulldogs knocked the Brownwood Lions from their perch atop the District 5-4A baseball standings in a 11-3 decision Thursday night at Morris Southall Field.
Wylie (13-2, 2-0) scored four runs in the top of the first inning and four more in the seventh, with three more sprinkled between, while limiting Brownwood (14-6, 2-1) a three-spot in the bottom of the sixth.
The Lions were held without a hit until Gavon Clemons singled in the bottom of the fourth. But Brownwood was unable to scratch across its runs until Wylie had established a 7-0 advantage.
In Brownwood’s half of the sixth inning, Cain Kittrell led off with a walk but was erased when Hayden Donahoo grounded into a fielder’s choice. With one out, Clemons drew another walk ahead of a two-RBI double to left field by Rylan Reagan. Then, with two down, Jakob Dorsett delivered an RBI single to right field that plated Reagan.
Wylie quickly quashed Brownwood’s comeback hopes with its final four runs in the top of the seventh. Hayden Kiedl, Sam King and Gatlin Martin walked in succession to start the frame, then Brady Horn reached on an error that plated Kiedl and King. With one out, another error during Tyler Spears at-bat brought home Horn and Martin for the final eight-run margin.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first as King led off with a single, Horn walked with one out and Caleb Munton delivered an RBI double for the first run. Spears then reached on a two-base, which permitted Horn and Munton to score. Finally, an RBI single to left field by Jaxon Hansen drove home Spears with the fourth run.
Wylie tacked on solo runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings. In the third, Nathan Moore singled home Spears, who led off with a triple, with two outs. In the fourth, Martin walked to start the frame and came home when Munton reached on an error. The sixth-inning was the product of a Hansen RBI sacrifice fly.
Brownwood pitchers Donahoo, Grayson Swanzy and Reagan combined to yield 11 runs — four earned — on seven hits with 12 walks and 12 strikeouts. The Lion defense committed five errors behind them.
Offensively, the Lions tallied just three hits — by Donahoo, Clemons and Reagan — off Wylie pitchers Kanon Doby, Spears and Brandon Sanders. Brownwood did earn five walks — one each by Kittrell, Donahoo, Clemons, Swanzy and Reece Rodgers.
The Lions will attempt to rebound at Sweetwater (9-9, 1-1) at 7 p.m. Tuesday as they wrap up the first half of district competition.