Patrick Espinoza and Dylan Burleson combined to toss a three-hitter, while Marcus Berniard belted a two-run home run and drove in a team-high three runs to lead the Brownwood A’s past the Early Purple, 10-0, in Monday’s opening-round action at the Texas Teen-Age Baseball District 5 Junior Boys tournament at the Camp Bowie Sports Complex.
The Brownwood A’s will challenge the Brownwood Rangers, who drew a first-round bye, at 4 p.m. today, while the Early Purple will square off with the Hico Katz in an elimination game at 6:15 p.m.
Espinoza worked the first four innings, allowing two hits with one strikeout. Burleson pitched the final inning of the run-rule contest and retired the side in order.
Offensively, Berniard went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Berniard slapped his two-run home run over the left field fence during Brownwood’s four-run bottom of the fourth inning.
Stacen Torrez finished with two hits as well and scored a run on Espinoza’s two-run double — as did Cameron Chisholm — earlier in the fourth inning.
The A’s jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning behind Burleson’s two-RBI double to left field, and an RBI double down the left field line by Vance McShan. McShan also scored the final run of the inning on an Early error during a throw back to starting pitcher Hunter Stanford.
Brownwood tacked on single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, a bases-loaded walk by Berniard drove in Jake Newton with the ninth run.
An error during McShan’s at-bat in the bottom of the sixth allowed Jeese Coppic, who walked, to score the final run.
Offensively for Early, Stanford, Chase Reeves and Tyler Vernon collected the only hits.
Reeves had a leadoff infield single in the top of the second inning, Stanford started the fourth with a line drive to center field and Vernon doubled to left field in the sixth, but was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch.