PFLUGERVILLE — Trailing by four runs heading to the fifth inning, the Brownwood Lions were able to push five runs across the plate over their next two at-bats to rally past the Class 5A Pflugerville Connally Cougars, 7-6, Saturday afternoon in non-district baseball action.
The victory halted a three-game skid for the Lions, who evened their overall record at 6-6 with the win. Connally dropped to 4-16 for the season with the loss.
Facing a 6-4 deficit in the top of the sixth inning, Cain Kittrell began the frame with a walk but was erased when Rowdee Gregory reached on a fielder’s choice. With one out, Isyah Campos then reached on an error following a line drive to center field. A.J. McCarty came through with an RBI single up the middle that plated Gregory and reduced the deficit to a single run. With two outs, Reece Rodgers laced a two-RBI single to center field that knocked in both Campos and McCarty, which staked the Lions to a 7-6 lead.
Mason Ryden finished his 6.1 innings of relief by allowing just one base runner on a walk, while striking out two, once the Lions regained the lead. For the game, Ryden yielded a run on one hit with nine strikeouts and three walks. C.J. Hanley started and pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowing five runs on three hits with three walks and one strikeout.
Offensively, Brownwood finished with eight hits — two each by Kittrell, McCarty and Khyren Deal, along with one apiece from Rodgers and Campos.
The Lions were facing a 6-2 deficit when the fifth inning began as McCarty singled and Jacob Hataway walked to start the frame. McCarty later scored on the back end of a double steal in which Hataway was thrown out at second. Hanley later drew a two-out walk, and Deal reached on a two-out error that allowed Hanley to come home and close the gap to 6-4.
Brownwood grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Deal singled with one out, Gavon Clemons was hit by a pitch and Kittrell delivered a two-RBI single that plated both.
Connally fired back with five runs in the bottom of the first inning and added another in the second to establish its four-run cushion.
The Lions will return to action at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when they host Llano in a doubleheader. Brownwood was slated to visit Llano this past Tuesday, but weather issues resulted in the schedule change for both teams.