Trailing by two midway through the contest, the Buffalo Bison offense found a higher gear and generated 15 of the final 20 runs to upend the Van Vandals, 23-15, in the TTAB 8U Machine Pitch state championship game Thursday night at the Bert V. Massey II Sports Complex.
Knotted at 15 through four frames, Buffalo — which scored at least 20 runs in every tournament outing — tallied the maximum seven runs in the top of the fifth, then held Van scoreless in the bottom of the inning to seize control of the contest.
The Bison then capped off the victory in the top of the sixth as Angel Nunez’s one-out RBI single up the middle scored Jaxon Michalsky, who began the frame with a base hit, to push Buffalo’s lead to eight runs, resulting in the run-rule as no team is allowed to score more than seven runs in an at-bat.
In the decisive top of the fifth for Buffalo, Jaxson Daggs reached on an infield single followed by an RBI triple from Michalsky, which proved to be the winning run. Luke Darby then singled home Jose Andrade, Camden Maddox reached on an infield hit, Nunez recorded an RBI double, Blain McVeay and Carter Maddox followed with RBI singles, Lawson Kormos chipped in an RBI on a ground out and Daggs singled in the final run of the inning.
Trailing 10-8 heading to the top of the fourth, a leadoff home run to left field by Kormos ignited the Buffalo offense for the first of two consecutive seven-run outbursts. Daggs and Michalsky followed with singles, while Camden Maddox added a one-out hit to fill the sacks. Nunez contributed an RBI infield single, McVeay drove in two with a triple, Carter Maddox doubled home a run and Kormos picked up his second RBI of the inning with a single.
Buffalo jumped out to 4-0 lead in the first inning as Nunez doubled and scored on Carter Maddox’s RBI double, Parker Ayres singled home Carter Maddox, Kormos singled home Ayres and Darby’s two-out RBI infield single plated Kormos.
Van closed the gap to 4-3 in the bottom of the first as Keith Brown singled and scored on Landan Lewellen’s RBI double. Landyn Heddin’s RBI infield single later brought home Lewellen, while Kylar Russell’s RBI fielder’s choice knocked in Heddin.
The Bison were limited to one run in the top of the second inning, as Ayres singled home Carter Maddox, which allowed the Vandals to grab an 8-5 edge in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Jones Campbell, Brown and Lewellen singled in succession, then Mason Pride followed with an RBI sacrifice fly. Facing a two-out situation, Van received four consecutive RBI singles from Easton Yarbrough, Russell, Carson Yeck and Campbell to grab the lead.
Buffalo drew even at 8 in the top of the third on RBI singles by Nunez and Carter Maddox and an RBI fielder’s choice from McVeay.
Van regained a 10-8 lead in the bottom of the third as Campbell singled and scored on an error, while Pride also singled and came home on Heddin’s two-out RBI base hit.
After falling behind Buffalo, 15-10, Van knotted the score at 15 in the bottom of the fourth. Singles by Yeck, Kutter Sandifer and Campbell were followed by a two-RBI singles from Brown and Heddin, and an RBI base hit by Yarbrough.
Van reached the championship game by defeating Groesbeck, 24-14, earlier Thursday.
TTAB STATE TOURNAMENT
8U MACHINE PITCH
AT MASSEY SPORTS COMPLEX
Game 1: Groesbeck Big G’s 20, Van Vandals 16
Game 2: Lone Oak Buffaloes 7, Early Twins 3
Game 3: Buffalo Bison 23, Comanche Indians 8
Game 4: Edgewood Dirtbags 16, Brownwood Indians 15
Game 5: Groesbeck Big G’s 29, Gatesville Rangers 21
Game 6: Lone Oak Buffaloes 8, Brownwood Cubs 5
Game 7: Buffalo Bison 23, Gatesville Attic Breeze 2
Game 8: Brownwood Indians 22, Early Twins 21
Game 9: Comanche Indians 21, Gatesville Rangers 6
Game 10: Van Vandals 23, Brownwood Cubs 2
Game 11: Comanche Indians 30, Brownwood Indians 22
Game 12: Van Vandals 23, Gatesville Attic Breeze 11
Game 13: Groesbeck Big G’s 16, Edgewood Dirtbags 9
Game 14: Buffalo Bison 27, Lone Oak Buffaloes 5
Game 15: Van Vandals 17, Edgewood Dirtbags 11
Game 16: Comanche Indians 24, Lone Oak Buffaloes 9
Game 17: Buffalo Bison 24, Groesbeck Big G’s 2
Game 18: Van Vandals 7, Comanche Indians 3
Game 19: Van Vandals 24, Groesbeck Big G’s 14
Game 20 (CHAMPIONSHIP): Buffalo Bison 23, Van Vandals 15