The Brownwood Lions’ path to the Texas Teen-Age Baseball Senior Midget state championship hit an early detour Monday night as the West Orioles knocked the host team into the elimination bracket with a 7-3 victory at the Camp Bowie Sports Complex.
For West, it was the Orioles’ second victory of the day after edging the Grand Saline Indians, 7-6, Monday afternoon. The Orioles will face either Whitehouse or Pleasant Grove at 8 p.m. tonight in winners’ bracket action.
Monday’s scheduled 8 p.m. games — Whitehouse vs. Pleasant Grove and Belton vs. Lindale — were not completed due to thunderstorms and will be made up at 10 a.m. today
The Lions, who drew a first-round bye, will face the winner of today’s noon elimination contest between Salado and Oak Cliff. Brownwood will meet the survivor of that game at 6 p.m., and if the Lions are victorious they will play again at noon on Wednesday.
West pitcher Bailey Horn limited the Lions to six hits and struck out five batters. Nicolas Pfoh was 3-for-3 with a run scored to pace the Brownwood attack, while Bradley Durand went 2-for-2 with a run scored and Seth Owen added a hit and two RBIs.
The Lions’ pitching combination of Owen, Durand and Mason Prosise surrendered nine hits, including three in four at-bats to Haden Tobola. Jared Janek was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Brandt Shilling, Mason Tabola, Landon Koch and Kellen Martin added base hits. Koch and Shilling each recorded an RBI, Tabola scored twice and Martin crossed the plate once.
Brownwood jumped out to a quick lead, scoring twice in the bottom of the first inning.
Durand led off with a triple to deep right field, then came home on Justin Gomez’s RBI ground out. With two outs in the inning, Cole Pennington drew a walk and Pfoh advanced him with a single up the middle. An RBI single by Owen drove in Pennington.
West seized control of the contest with a five-run top of the third inning. Koch and C.J. Wachsmann led off with back-to-back walks, then Tabola reached on an infield single to load the bases.
Another infield single from Shilling scored Koch and shaved Brownwood’s lead in half, 2-1. Janek followed with an RBI single to shallow left field that plated Tabola and evened the score at 2-all.
Wild pitches during Horn’s at-bat allowed by Shilling and Janek to score, while Tobola — who later singled — scored on a wild pitch in Zane Cooper’s trip to the plate.
West increased its lead to 6-2 in the top of the fourth as Martin led off with a triple and scored on Koch’s RBI single.
Brownwood trimmed the deficit to 6-3 in the bottom of the fourth as Pfoh tripled with one out, then scored on Owen’s RBI ground out.
The Orioles scored another insurance run in their final at-bat in the top of the sixth. Tabola, who drew a walk, scored on another wild pitch during Tobola’s final at-bat.