The Brownwood Dawgs took the short road to the TTAB District 2 Senior Midgets tournament championship game, where they will again meet the Brownwood Cardinals with a state berth at stake.

The Dawgs scored five first-inning runs and then held off a late Cardinals’ rally for a 6-5 victory Wednesday at the Camp Bowie Sports Complex. Forced into the loser’s bracket, the Cardinals knocked off the Comanche Astros, 14-4, to earn the other title game spot.

Tonight’s championship game is slated to start at 7 p.m., with a second game, if needed, to begin at 9 p.m. The winner of the tournament will advance to the 14-team state tournament in Killeen on Monday, July 28.

The Dawgs jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first as Brett Sawyer doubled in Zach Davis. Hayden Day then reached on a error, which scored Sawyer, while Grant Lewis doubled home Day. Cole Fowler picked up the final RBI in the inning as his sacrifice fly scored Carson Cloy, who was hit by a pitch.

The lead reached 6-0 in the top of the third inning as Lewis led off with an infield single, then scored on a wild pitch during Fowler’s at-bat.

The Cardinals trimmed the deficit to 6-1 in the fourth inning as Kory Owen reached on an error, then scored on an RBI ground bout by Nicholas Perez.

The Dawgs were able to stave off a four-run surge by the Cardinals in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Harley Price was hit by a pitch with one out, then Dylan Agan walked. McLane Moore’s RBI ground out scored Price and cut the Dawgs’ lead to 6-2.

Owen’s RBI double, followed by an RBI single from Mason Prosise, scored two more Cardinals as the Dawgs’ lead was reduced to 6-4.

Prosise later came home an errant throw to third base, but with runners at second and third base, Lewis — in relief of the starting pitcher Day - got out of the jam.

Lewis pitched the final 1 1/3 innings and recorded four strikeouts, including the side in the bottom of the sixth inning. Day worked the first 4 2/3 innings and gave up four hits and three walks while striking out seven Cardinals.

For the Cardinals, Tristan Chesser worked all six inning on the mound. Chesser surrendered five hits and two walks while striking out nine batters.