The Brownwood Cardinals saved their best performance for last, tallying at least two runs in every inning en route to the TTAB Junior Midgets state championship with Thursday’s 14-4 triumph over the Clifton White Sox at the Camp Bowie Sports Complex.
The Cardinals did not suffer a loss during the tournament and defeated their four opponents by a combined score of 34-12. Thursday’s margin of victory was the largest for the Cardinals in the tournament, and marked the first time they invoked the 10-run mercy rule.
Brownwood chalked up eight base hits and took advantage of nine walks issued by Clifton pitchers to brek into double figures in runs for the first time in the tournament.
Ben Pennington led the Cardinals offense as he finished 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored. Jace Wiley also was 2-for-2 and scored twice.
Rylan Reagan finished 1-for-3 with a team-high two RBIs, while Hunter Mares went 1-for-2 with an RBI and scored a team-high three runs.
Hayden Donahoo and Tristan Revada chipped in an RBI base hit apiece, and Revada also scored a run.
Tyler Del Toro and Tristyn Seymore - the lone girl playing in the tournament - both walked twice and scored twice. Tye’Rus Jones and Caden Reagan drew a walk and scored a run each as well.
On the mound, Blaine Hughes started and worked 1 2/3 innings, allowing a pair of runs on one hit with two strikeouts and a pair of walks.
Donahoo came on in relief and pitched through the third inning, giving up one hit and one walk while fanning three batters.
Pennington worked the final inning and allowed a pair of runs on the three hits, but struck out the final batter to enforce the mercy rule.
For Clifton, Hutch Kettler recorded a two-RBI double, and Jacob Bright picked up an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Dalton Ross, Tyler Stephens, Jake Durham and Jayson Shanefelt also tallied base hits for the White Sox, who defeated Troup, 5-4, Thursday afternoon to earn their spot in the state championship game.
Brownwood scored the game’s first four runs, getting a pair in the top of the first and second innings.
Donahoo singled home Pennington in the first after Mares scored on a pair of Clifton errors. In the second inning, Reagan delivered a two-out, two-RBI single that brought home Wiley and Seymore.
Clifton closed the gap to 4-2 after two full innings, but Brownwood erupted for six runs in the third to open a 10-2 advantage. Revada and Pennington tallied RBI singles, while Mares earned an RBI with a bases loaded walk in the third.
The lead peaked at 14-2 in the top of the fourth inning as the Cards drew four walks, and each base runner scored on either a passed ball or wild pitch.