Nothing will swing the momentum of a baseball game faster than a triple play, as both the Brownwood Rangers and Bangs Astros discovered in Wednesday’s round of the Texas Teen-Age Baseball District 5 Junior Boys tournament at the Camp Bowie Sports Complex.
Leading 4-2 with the two on and no outs in the top of the fifth inning, Bangs’ Tanner Truitt hit into an unorthodox triple play that quickly ended the Astros’ threat.
The Rangers responded with six runs in the bottom of the fifth as they went on to a 10-4 come-from-behind victory that locked up one of the district’s two berths in the 10-team TTAB Junior Boys state tournament in Lancaster, which starts July 23.
The Astros later fell to the Brownwood A’s, 10-0, as the A’s secured the district’s other state berth after eliminating the Early Purple, 17-1, earlier Wednesday.
The Rangers and A’s will clash for the second time in tournament play at 6 p.m. tonight to determine the District 5 champion. The Rangers won the first meeting, 10-2, on Tuesday.
Bangs’ fifth inning against the Rangers started with Doug Drury blasting a lead off solo home run to deep left field, which gave the Astros their fourth run in the first five innings.
Josh Hughes followed with a single to center and was replaced at first by courtesy runner T.J. Jamison. Boone Cox then picked up an infield hit to put a pair of runners on with no outs.
Brownwood reliever Graylon Brown then got Truitt to hit a chopper just off the plate as he was retired at first. Jamison, who was on second base, broke for third, but then retreated back to second where he was retired. Cox was then caught up between first and second base and eventually tagged out to complete the trifecta.
The Rangers wasted little time in building on the sudden change of momentum as Jeremy Allgood and Tanner Vaughn singled to start the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Tyler Harth added a base hit to center that loaded the sacks for Taylor Chesser.
Chesser hit what appeared to be a routine line drive to center field, but the ball was misjudged which resulted in a bases-clearing, three-RBI triple that gave Brownwood its first lead, 5-4.
Josh Fleming followed with an RBI double to right field that drove home Chesser with the sixth Brownwood run, while Brown doubled in Fleming to complete the scoring in the five-run frame.
The Astros managed just one base runner in the top of the sixth inning, while the Rangers tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to ice the contest.
Allgood began the sixth with a solo shot to center field, then Harth singled home Levi Perez and Fleming’s RBI ground out plated Harth.
Bangs scored the first two runs of the game as Doug Drury’s RBI triple, which was misplayed by the Rangers outfield, scored Corey Sanchez, who walked, in the top of the first inning.
Cox led off the second inning with a walk, then scored when Wes Troyer reached on a two-out error.
The Rangers pulled even at 2-all in the bottom of the second as Chesser scored after Fleming doubled and the Astros committed an error on the throw. Fleming then came home on a passed ball during J.C. Pitts’ at-bat.
But Bangs regained the advantage, 3-2, in the top of the third as Cox singled home Drury, who reached on an infield single, with two outs.