The Brownwood Lions squandered an eight-run lead but managed to emerge with an 11-10 victory over the Glen Rose Tigers Thursday night at Morris Southall, sweeping the three-game District 6-4A series.
“I told the guys before the game it’s going to take every guy on this team to win this baseball game today,” said Lions second-year head coach Brian Harris. “Everybody played a part, everyone’s got a role. I love this team. They do make things a little interesting and exciting at times, but there’s no quit in them, there’s really not. They’re so competitive and it really upsets them whenever they don’t do well.”
The Lions (8-7, 4-2), who reached the halfway point of their 12-game district schedule, are now tied with Lampasas (7-12-1, 4-2) – which dropped an 8-4 decision to Gatesville (12-8, 2-3) Thursday night – for second place in the District 6-4A race, and trail only league front-runner Stephenville (10-7-1, 3-1), which had a bye Thursday. Brownwood visits Lampasas at 7 p.m. Tuesday and hosts the Badgers at 7 p.m. Friday.
After yielding three runs in the top of the seventh inning to allow Glen Rose (3-15-1, 0-6) to draw even at 10, the first two batters in Brownwood’s half of the seventh were retired. Byron Foster, who came on in relief with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the seventh and snared a line drive to keep the game tied, drew a walk to keep the bottom of the seventh alive for Brownwood.
Gavin Brandstetter, who started on the mound and allowed five runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in four innings, followed Foster’s walk with a base hit to put a pair of runners on base. Hunter Day then came through with a bloop RBI single into shallow left field as Tommy Perez, running for Foster, sprinted home with the decisive run.
“We know how to make it exciting don’t we,” Harris said. “What about Hunter Day coming through with a great hit. He comes in after Byron closes his eyes and catches that line drive right at him on the mound. We finished that inning and Hunter came in and said let’s walk this thing off and go home and of course he’s the one that comes up with runners in scoring position and he makes it happen. He wins the baseball game tonight after running in the district track meet all day and just being a Brownwood Lion.”
Behind a six-run second inning and three more runs in the third, Brownwood built a 9-1 advantage.
The Lions answered Glen Rose’s run in the first as a bases loaded walk by Reece Bolton in the bottom of the second scored Perez with the tying run. Owen Huntsinger then followed with a three-RBI triple that sliced down the left field, plating Taylor Bessent, who reached on an error, Case Markham, who walked, and Bolton.
Brownwood boosted the lead to 5-1 on an RBI single up the middle by Foster that brought home Huntsinger. Brandstetter then singled to left field for the sixth run of the frame.
In the third, Logan Posey launched a one-out solo home run to left field – his first of the season and the third all year for Brownwood, all of which occurred in games against Glen Rose.
After Markham reached on an error, Bolton hit a high fly ball down the right field line, which the Tiger defender dropped resulting in a two-run, four-base error and a 9-1 cushion.
Glen Rose answered with the next five runs, including four in the top of fourth as Kanyon Keesee knocked in Cody Morton and Fisher Chism with a two-out single, and wild pitch coupled with an error later allowed Christian De La Cruz and Keesee to cross the plate. With Xadrian Mares – who yielded five runs on 10 hits in 2.2 innings – on the mound in the fifth, another Brownwood error allowed the Tigers to creep within 9-6.
“We did lose focus there in the middle innings,” Harris said. “We kicked the ball around a time or two and led off an inning with an error that led to their big inning to let them right back in the game. Whenever you give a team a chance and let them think they can play with you this happens.”
The Lions tallied their 10th run in the bottom of the fifth as Bolton led off with a single and later scored after a two-out Foster base hit and another miscue in the field from Glen Rose.
The Tigers finished 15 hits but left nine runners stranded and committed seven errors. Brownwood tallied 11 hits, left eight on base and were credited with four miscues.
The Lions won the previous two meetings at Glen Rose, 15-5 on March 9 and 4-3 Tuesday night.