Stephenville rallies past Lions, 3-2, in pitchers' duel

Derrick Stuckly Brownwood Bulletin

STEPHENVILLE — Brownwood sophomore Dylan Agan matched Stephenville ace and Vanderbilt commit Maddux Conger nearly pitch for pitch, but a late Yellow Jackets rally resulted in a 3-2 District 6-4A baseball loss for the Lions Friday night.

Agan struck out 10 and surrendered just six hits, but Stephenville (8-7, 3-1) scored all three of its runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Conger also tossed a six-hitter with 16 strikeouts, but two of the first three Brownwood (10-9, 2-2) batters scored. However, the Lions left the bases loaded in the first and third innings and had the potential tying run thrown out at the plate to end the sixth.

With Brownwood leading 2-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth, Kaegun Williams was hit by a pitch to start the frame, one of two batters plunked by Agan, who also issued a pair of walks. Leadoff batter Ben Martin later reached on an infield single, and both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. Aaron Jimenez followed with a two-RBI double to right-center field that knotted the score at 2. Conger then helped his own cause with a two-out RBI single to left field that scored Jimenez with the decisive run.

The Lions were looking to pull even in the top of the sixth as Carson McAnally reached on a two-out infield single. Carson Cloy followed with a bullet to the outfield, but McAnally was gunned down at the plate to end Brownwood’s final scoring threat, as well as the sixth inning.

Brownwood seized a 2-0 advantage in the top of the first as Pablo Salazar reached on a one-out infield single, then Rawlings Rios laid down a bunt and an errant throw to second base put two Lions on the base paths. A wild pitch moved runners to second and third and Hayden Day hit a slow roller in front of the plate, which Conger fielded and fired to first for the second out. Salazar broke for the plate on the throw to first and beat the toss back home for the initial run of the contest. Tristan Chesser then came threw with an RBI single that plated Rios.

Trent Carlton later doubled and Kory Owen walked to load the bases, but the Lions were unable to push another run across the plate in the first.

The Lions found themselves in a similar situation in the third as Day reached on a dropped third strike with one out, followed by back-to-back singles from Chesser and Carlton. Conger was able to retire the next two batters on strikeouts, however, as Brownwood’s threat was silenced.

The second half of 6-4A action begins for Brownwood at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when the Lions welcome Mineral Wells to Morris Southall Field.