Bulletin Staff Report
GEORGETOWN — There will be no storybook postseason run for the Brownwood Lions baseball team this season, thanks to the Ennis Lions.
Ennis capped a two-game bi-district round sweep of Brownwood with a 7-2 victory Saturday at Southwestern University’s Rockwell Field. Ennis (21-8), which won Friday’s opener 3-0, will move on to face District 13-4A champion Dallas Hillcrest in the area round of the playoffs.
The Lions (16-15), who advanced four rounds deep to the Region II-4A semifinals a year ago, proved to be their own worst enemy in Georgetown. Brownwood mustered only five hits, struck out 22 times, stranded 12 base runners, committed seven errors and walked 13 batters in the series.
In Saturday’s season-ending loss, the Lions were plagued by five errors and eight stranded base runners after falling in a three-run hole just one half-inning into the game.
Garrett Goodwin, who pitched the final two-thirds of an inning in Friday’s opener, got the start and worked six-plus innings. Goodwin (2-5) allowed five runs on four hits with two strikeouts and three walks. Josh Fleming recorded the final three outs in relief, surrendering two runs on one hit with a walk in the seventh.
Ennis pitcher Weston Montgomery (8-2) allowed a pair of unearned runs, fanned 10 Lions and escaped three jams in which Brownwood had two runners on base in an inning but failed to get a run home. Offensively, Brownwood received base hits from Levi Perez, Parker Taylor, Jacob Allen, Josh Fleming and Chase Holmes — who doubled.
Ennis’ five-hit attack was sparked by Rusty Collins, who finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Tyler Hobbs drove in a pair of runs and went 1-for-1 with a pair of sacrifices.
Brownwood fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first inning as Goodwin struggled with his control early. Montgomery and Chris Lewis — the winning pitcher in Game 1 — led off with consecutive walks, then Collins doubled over the third base bag to stake Ennis to a 1-0 lead.
Goodwin plunked Matt Gunn with a pitch to load the bases, but struck out Corey Betik and got Edward Ortiz to fly out to shallow right field. Just when it appeared the Lions would escape further damage, Hobbs slapped a two-out, two-RBI single into right field.
The Lions went quietly in the first, but Holmes led off the bottom of the second with a double. Jacob Allen then reached on a one-out error, but the Lions could not push a run home.
Brownwood did strike for a pair of runs in the third inning, thanks to an Ennis fielding blunder.
Perez opened the third with a single to left field, then Taylor walked.
Montgomery regrouped and struck out Chris Munson and got Shelby Miller to ground out before intentionally walking Holmes to load the bases.
Casey Pachall’s grounder to shortstop wound up scoring Perez and Taylor as an errant throw to first base brought Brownwood within a run at 3-2. Before the Lions could pull even, however, Montgomery retired Allen on pop out.
Ennis turned around and got one of the runs back in the top of the fourth as Hobbs, who reached on an error, scored on Montgomery’s sacrifice fly.
The Lions had opportunities in the fifth and sixth innings to draw even, but instead stranded half their eight runners in those two frames.
Taylor started the fifth by singling to left field and Holmes reached on a two-out walk. Montgomery retired Pachall to quash a potential Lion two-out rally, however.
In the sixth, Allen and Fleming chalked up back-to-back singles to put runners on first and third with no outs. Montgomery then fanned Taylor Chesser and Perez before getting Taylor to ground out to the mound.
Ennis added three insurance runs in the top of the seventh thanks to one hit, two walks and a pair of Brownwood miscues.
Jon Lewis opened the inning with a free pass, Montgomery reached on an error, then Chris Lewis walked to load the bases. Collins then ripped a two-RBI single off Fleming — who replaced Goodwin prior to Montgomery’s at-bat — to increase Ennis’ lead to 6-2.
Two batters later, Betik reached on Brownwood’s final error, which allowed Collins to score the last run.