The Brownwood Cardinals moved within one victory of the TTAB Junior Midgets state championship with their 9-6 win over the Troup Rattlers Wednesday night at the Camp Bowie Sports Complex.
The Cardinals - who are the lone undefeated squad left in the 10-team tournament - will compete in tonight’s 6 p.m. state title game against the winner of the noon contest between Troup and the Clifton White Sox.
Brownwood snapped a 4-all tie with three runs in the top of the fourth and never trailed again.
Troup closed the gap to 7-6 in the bottom of the fifth inning, but the Cardinals tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the sixth.
Ben Pennington drove in a team-high three RBIs for the Cardinals, while Rylan Reagan added two RBIs and went the distance on the mound, striking out eight batters. Blaine Hughes and Hayden Donahoo also chipped in an RBI apiece for the Cardinals.
Jace Wiley was hit by a pitch to start the three-run fourth inning. With one out, Tristan Revada and Hunter Mares reached on back-to-back walks to load the bases.
Pennington followed with a two-RBI single to center field that scored Wiley and Revada and gave Brownwood a 6-4 lead.
Reagan’s RBI ground out allowed Mares to score the seventh run for the Cardinals.
Troup scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings as Coltan Whitsell’s RBI single plated Luke Bowman, then Nick Buckner scored on a wild pitch.
The Cardinals pushed the lead back to three runs in the top of the sixth as Reagan and Hughes both walked and scored on a wild pitch and a passed ball during Tyler Del Toro’s at-bat.
Troup grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second as Shane Thomas and Bowman walked and singled, respectively, then both came home on wild pitches during Peyton Hugghins’ at-bat.
Brownwood rallied to take a 4-2 advantage in the top of the third inning as Pennington tripled in Mares, who walked; Reagan doubled home Pennington; Hughes knocked in Reagan with a triple; and Donahoo’s RBI ground out scored Hughes.
The Rattlers evened the score at 4-all in the bottom of the third as Justin Nelson’s RBI double scored Bucker, who walked, then Nelson came home on a passed ball during Walker Adams’ at-bat.