BANGS — The Early Hurricanes held off the rally of the Brownwood Pirates to capture the Texas Teen-Age Baseball District 2 10U Tight Base championship with a 5-4 victory in Thursday night’s finale.
Brownwood defeated the May Tigers, 12-10, earlier Thursday to earn a spot in the title game, then almost forced a second championship contest in its final at-bat.
Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Brownwood’s Hunter Davidson led off the inning with a walk off Hurricane reliever Jared Baucom. Justin Valdez then reached on a fielder’s choice as Davidson was erased as the first out.
Garrett Moody followed with an infield single, then Gavin Brandstetter doubled home Valdez, but Moody was caught in a rundown between third and home and retired as the second out.
An RBI infield single by Austin Pittman plated Brandstetter and closed the gap to a single run.
Ethan Pallette then came on in relief of Baucom and retired Randell Reed on a ground out to J.D. Nowell at first base to secure the victory.
Kevin Patton earned the win on the mound, striking out eight in five innings.
Early jumped out to a 3-0 lead, scoring once in the first inning as Cameron Patton reached on a one-out infield single and came home when Ki Houston reached on a two-out throwing error.
The Hurricanes tacked on two more runs in the second off Brandstetter, the Pirate starting pitcher. With two outs, Andrew Caten doubled and Reece Middleton followed with an infield single, as Caten scored all the way from second on the play. Nowell then doubled home Middleton.
The Pirates trimmed the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the second as Reed singled to start the inning and Austin Barnum drew a walk. Colbin Burleson singled home Reed while Barnum came home on an RBI base hit by Moody.
Early stretched the lead to 4-2 in the third as Houston singled and scored on a wild pitch after a double by Pallette.
The Hurricanes tacked on their fifth run in the fourth as Nowell reached on an infield hit and scored on an RBI single to right field by Baucom.
With the victory, Early is headed to the TTAB 10U Tight Base state tournament in Temple July 25.
BROWNWOOD 12, MAY 10
The Brownwood Pirates jumped out to a five-run lead, lost the advantage, but rallied to secure a spot in the district tournament final while ending May’s season.
Trailing 8-7 going to the bottom of the fourth inning, the Pirates recorded their second five-spot of the contest to reclaim a 12-8 edge.
Trey Toft led off with a double then Reed followed with an RBI double. Barnum was hit by a pitch then Burleson reached on an error, which allowed by Reed and Barnum to cross the plate.
Later in the inning, Brandstetter’s two-RBI single to right field knocked in Burleson and Valdez, who reached on a fielder’s choice.
May again attempted to rally in the top of the fifth inning as Adam Blankinship walked and J.D White singled up the middle with two outs. Braden Steele then hit a ball through the shortstop that scored both Blankinship and White, but May’s rally ended there.
The Pirates built a 5-0 lead in the first inning as Valdez reached on an infield single then Moody and Brandstetter walked to load the bases. Another walk issued to Logan Duncan accounted for the first run, while an RBI fielder’s choice by Toft made the score 2-0.
Burleson delivered a two-RBI single that scored Duncan and Toft later in the first, while another bases-loaded walk to Valdez plated Barnum, who reached on an infield single, with the last run in the first.
May closed the gap to 5-2 in the top of the second as Ben Harrell reached on a single and an error put Cade Lindley on board, and both scored on a two-RBI double by Blankinship.
The Pirates stretched the lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the second as Brandstetter singled and scored on Toft’s RBI double, while Toft came home on a wild pitch.
May reduced the Pirate edge to 7-6 in the top of the third as White singled and scored when Steele reached on an error. Steele later came home on an RBI ground out by Kamden Gamblin. Harrell and Lindley later reached on an infield single and walk, respectively, and scored on a wild pitch and an error.
The Tigers took the lead, 8-7, in the top of the fourth as White led off with a single and scored on Luke McKenzie’s RBI base hit, while Harrell later knocked in McKenzie.