With three runs in seventh, Badgers rally past Lions baseball, 6-5

DERRICK STUCKLY BROWNWOOD BULLETIN derrick.stuckly@brownwoodbulletin.com

LAMPASAS — The Brownwood Lions were three outs away from their first District 8-3A baseball victory heading to the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Lampasas Badgers had other plans.

The Lions surrendered three runs in the final frame, as Lampasas scored the decisive run on a suicide squeeze bunt in a gut-wrenching 6-5 defeat for Brownwood Friday night.

Brownwood (6-13, 0-2) took a 5-3 lead to the bottom of the seventh, where Ryan Baxter drew a leadoff walk for Lampasas (1-1 in district) against reliever Hayden Day. Ralph Marez followed with a two-run home run to left field that quickly knotted the score at 5.

Laine Wiggins was next to the plate for the Badgers, as he recorded a towering ground-rule double over the center field wall. Wiggins advanced to third after Day notched his first strikeout, which set the table for the one-out, game-winning bunt by Jason Ayers.

Trailing 1-0 after two innings, the Lions grabbed a 3-1 lead in the top of the third.

The Lions’ third inning began with Trent Carlton reaching on an error, then Carson Cloy and Seth Owen followed with singles to load the bases with no outs. Pablo Salazar came through with an RBI ground out that evened the score at 1, while Day drilled a two-RBI double off the wall that plated Cloy and Owen.

Lampasas picked up single runs in the third and fourth innings to pull even at 3, but the Lions reclaimed the lead in the top of the fifth.

Owen led off with a walk and Salazar followed with an infield single. With one out, Elijah Salazar and Justin Osteen reached on consecutive errors, which eventually allowed Owen to cross the plate.

Brownwood extended its lead to 5-3 in the top of the seventh as Kory Owen reached on a dropped third strike coupled with an errant throw to first base. Rawlings Rios followed with a double, then Carlton reached on a two-out error that brought home Owen.

Carson McAnally started on the mound for the Lions and gave up two runs — one earned — on three hits with four strikeouts and two walks in three innings. Osteen pitched the next three innings and yielded one run on one hit with five strikeouts and a pair of walks.

The Lions will host Gatesville at 7 p.m. Tuesday.