Graham makes most of Lions’ miscues in 11-1 decision

Derrick Stuckly Brownwood Bulletin derrick.stuckly@brownwoodbulletin.com
Brownwood’s Carson Cloy (12) attempts to outrun Graham pitcher Dillon Rodgers (14) to first base during the Lions’ 11-1 district home loss Tuesday night.

Presented with the opportunity to secure a postseason berth against a winless District 6-4A foe that they had already defeated by 12 runs, the Brownwood Lions fell flat in an 11-1 loss to the Graham Blues Tuesday night at Morris Southall Field.

The loss marked the fourth straight for the Lions (10-12, 2-5), who were coming off a 9-2 defeat at the hands of No. 8 Abilene Wylie Monday afternoon. Brownwood had won 10 of 12 games prior to its current slump.

Brownwood’s second district bye falls Friday, then the Lions host Stephenville on Tuesday, April 28 in the district finale. A victory against the Yellow Jackets and the Lions are playoff bound.

However, a Brownwood loss, coupled with a Graham (9-11, 1-5) split of its last two games would force a playoff for fourth place. Victories by Graham over Stephenville Friday and Mineral Wells Tuesday would keep the Lions from reaching the postseason, if Brownwood does not defeat Stephenville.

In Tuesday’s loss to Graham, the Lions committed five errors and four Steer batters were hit by pitches. Offensively, Brownwood struggled with just four hits, the same amount it produced in Monday’s loss at Wylie.

Graham recorded all the runs it needed in the top of the first as Pete Marrufo and David Groves singled off Lion pitcher Dylan Agan to open the game. Skeeter Buchanan reached on an error that allowed the first two runners to score. Buchanan later came home on the back end of a double steal after Kenneth Dixon was hit by a pitch.

The Steers stretched their lead to 5-0 in the second inning as Todd Parker singled and Groves reached on a two-out error that prolonged the inning. Buchanan followed with a two-RBI double.

Graham tacked on four more runs in the fourth as Marrufo was beaned, then Kody Perry scored in his place on an RBI single by Dixon. Jaxon Brockway later reached on an error ahead of a walk by Logan Taylor and a two-RBI single by Hughes. Taylor scored on another double steal.

The Lions tallied their only run in the bottom of the fifth as Cole Fowler reached on a one-out error ahead of a Carson Cloy single. Following a Pablo Salazar fielder’s choice, Fowler scored on a wild pitch.