Leading by as many as 10 runs, the Brownwood Red Raiders witnessed their advantage dwindle to two in Wednesday night's TTAB 8U Machine Pitch District Tournament finale, but a 1-2-3 top of the sixth inning secured a 17-14 championship victory over the Brownwood Red Sox.
The Red Raiders completed an undefeated run through the competition at the Massey Sports Complex to earn a spot in the TTAB 8U Machine Pitch State Tournament in Copperas Cove beginning July 16.
Clinging to a 16-14 lead as the sixth and final inning began, the Red Raiders managed just one run as Ax Jimenez led off with a triple and scored when Hudson Fry reached on a dropped pop up.
The Red Sox needed a four-spot in the bottom of the sixth to complete the rally and force a second championship game on Thursday, but the Red Raider defense responded with the lone three-up, three-down half-inning of the contest.
The Red Raiders opened a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Fry, Ryker Calvert and Aiden Jimenez drove in a run apiece, while Tex White picked up a pair of RBIs in the frame.
The Red Sox picked up their first run in the bottom of the first as Jackson Contrucci tripled and came home on an RBI single by Bransen Hancock.
In the top of the second, the Red Sox kept the Red Raiders off the scoreboard, but the Red Sox mustered just one run in the bottom of the inning. Gus Stegemoller reached to start the inning and scored on Alex Gomez's two-out RBI base hit to bring the Red Sox within 5-2.
The Red Raiders fired back with the maximum seven runs in the top of the third inning to extend the advantage to 12-2. Kelton Ellis drove in the first two runs of the frame while Kameron Diver, Blake Locker, Chase Chambers, Fry and Calvert also knocked in runs.
The Red Sox answered with a seven-spot of their own in the bottom of the third, closing the gap to 12-9. Contrucci drove in a pair of runs while Hancock, Stegemoller, Bennett Williams, Breydan Hogue, and Jackson Clark chipped in RBI base hits as well.
The Red Raiders stretched the lead back to seven runs, 16-9, in the fourth. Kaeden Leach chalked up a two-RBI triple in the inning, Ellis tallied an RBI ground out and Fry drove in a run on an RBI single.
The next five runs belonged to the Red Sox during the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings. Judah Hamilton drove in the lone run in the fourth, while the fifth featured RBIs by Hancock, Stegemoller, Williams, and Hamilton.