EARLY — The Early Longhorns’ seventh-inning rally came up short as the Comanche Indians held on for a 7-5 victory Saturday in Early tournament action.
The Longhorns (0-3) trailed 7-2 heading into their final at-bat, but chalked up three runs with two outs.
Mitchell Bailey reached on a one-out single, his third hit of the game, then Cale Bearden extended the inning with two outs as he beat out an errant throw on a grounder to shortstop.
Bob Atchley then plated Bailey with an RBI infield single, which cut Comanche’s lead to 7-3.
Jonathan Conley then stepped to the plate and drew a wild pitch, which allowed Bearden to score to bring the Longhorns within 7-4.
Conley then singled to center field to drive home Atchley with Early’s fifth run, but Austin Greer was retired on a fly out to left field to close the contest.
Comanche jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Longhorns began shaving away the deficit with a run in the bottom of the frame.
Chandler Childs reached base on a one-out infield single, then later scored on an RBI single to left field by Atchley.
Early trimmed the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, but had an opportunity for more runs.
After Conley reached base on an error and Ben Hager singled, Hunter Stanford recorded an RBI ground out.
The Longhorns’ second out was recorded when the base runner attempted to advance to third base on the tail end of the play. Sean Aly then grounded out to end the inning.
Comanche tacked on a run with a wild pitch in the top of the fifth inning to boost the lead to 4-2, then the Indians added three crucial runs in the top of the seventh.
Hager went the distance on the mound for Early, allowing 10 hits — but just four after the first two innings. Hager struck out one and hit two batters.
The Longhorns also chalked up 10 hits as Bailey finished 3-for-4 with a run scored, Atchley was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Stanford was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Conley — who had an RBI — Hager and Aly also added base hits.
Early will be back in action at 7 p.m. Tuesday when it visits Eastland, a 10-9 winner over the Longhorns in Friday tournament action.