The Brownwood baseball team advanced to the third round of the postseason with a pair of decisive wins over Midland Greenwood on Friday afternoon at ACU’s Crutcher Scott Field.
The Lions posted wins of 12-0 and 15-3 to win the best-of-three Region I-4A area-round series and earn a date with the winner of the Argyle-Graham series that also saw its first two games being contested Friday.
Argyle is the top-ranked team in the state.
Gavon Clemons went 5.2 shutout innings in relief of starter Mayson Ryden in the nightcap and scattered five hits around three strikeouts and a walk.
“He did great (with) Mayson coming off an injury,” Brownwood coach Blandon Hancock said. “Gavon came in and shut the door.”
The Lions pounded out 18 hits — 15 singles — in the second game.
“That’s what we have done since I got here,” Hancock said of the offensive attack. “We get up there, be aggressive and swing the bat. We do the things that we need to do to put pressure on the defense.”
Cain Kittrell and Chris Hobbs each had three hits in the second game as everyone in the Brownwood lineup had at least one hit. Besides Kittrell and Hobbs, five others recorded multi-hit games.
Brownwood jumped out to a quick 3-0 first-inning lead in the second game after Kittrell had a leadoff single and Reece Rodgers drew a four-pitch walk. Clemons followed with a two-run double before scoring on Grayson Swanzy’s single.
As the Lions started to warm up in the field to start the bottom of the first, a light rain began to fall.
Greenwood answered with three runs in the bottom of the first as Brody Ray led off with a single and scored on Tristan Ramey’s bunt single. Ramey came across to score on a triple by Brooks Lundgren to make it 3-2, and Skyler Dominguez’ RBI single tied the game.
The game featured a rain delay of six minutes after the third inning.
Coming out of the delay, the Brownwood offense caught fire.
Hobbs and C.J. Hanley each singled to start the inning before a fielder’s choice by Jacob Hataway loaded the bases. Hobbs scored on a wild pitch to put the Lions up 4-3 and Kittrell followed with a two-run double.
Clemons had a sacrifice fly and Hunter Leonard added an RBI single before A.J. McCarty’s single put runners on the corners and ended Jacobie Rowland’s start.
Hobbs’ second single of the inning came with two outs and plated a pair of runs to push the lead to 10-3. Hanley had an RBI single to end the scoring in the frame.
Hancock said the Lions used the rain delay to regroup in a tie game.
“We told them we needed to make a run and string some hits together to get some runs,” he said. “Both teams were kind of in a daze and I’m super proud of those kids and what they did.”
Hobbs picked up another run-scoring single in the sixth to extend the Lions lead to 12-3 and Hanley’s fielder’s choice ground out pushed the lead to double-digits.
In the opening game of the series, the Lions jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead after the first inning before putting up eight runs in the fourth to take an easy win that was shortened to five innings by the run rule.
“We try to preach to put the pedal down,” Hancock said. “We have always been able to hit the ball and put pressure on the defense to make things happen.”
REGION I-4A AREA ROUND
BROWNWOOD 15, MIDLAND GREENWOOD 3
Mayson Ryden, Gavon Clemons (1) and Cain Kittrell. Jacobie Rowland, Cole Crownover (4) and Jared Lewis. W — Clemons. L — Crownwover. 2B — Brownwood: Kittrell, Reece Rodgers, Clemons; Greenwood: Brody Ray. 3B — Greenwood: Brooks Lundgren.
Records — Brownwood 16-10; Midland Greenwood 12-17.