Bulletin Staff Report

EARLY — The Early Longhorns captured at least a share of the District 8-2A baseball championship and the league’s top playoff seed with Friday’s 7-3 win over Dublin in the home finale.

Early (15-5, 10-1) entered Friday’s action with a one-game lead over Bangs (14-4, 9-2) in the race for the 8-2A title, but the Longhorns swept the Dragons during district play. That means even if Early were to drop its season finale at last-place Brady next Friday and Bangs was to win out, the Longhorns would still own the tiebreaker edge and the bye into the area round of the playoffs.

In Friday’s win over Dublin, the Longhorns — winners of three straight — scored the final seven runs after falling behind 3-0 in the top of the first.

Early pulled even at 3-all in the bottom of the first, then added two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings.

Ben Hager, Bob Atchley and Cale Bearden sparked the offense with two RBIs each. Atchley, Kelton Darden, Nick Lyle and Hunter Stanford chipped in a pair of hits apiece.

On the mound, Bearden went the distance, struck out 12 and allowed just four hits.