EARLY — The Ballinger Bombers completed an undefeated run through the field at the TTAB 12U Open Base District 10 Tournament in Early on Friday, July 6 with a 15-7 victory over the Stephenville Royals in the championship game.
Ballinger defeated the Brownwood Nationals (8-5), the Brownwood Astros (10-5) and the Stephenville Royals (5-0) en route to the championship game. By completing a sweep of Stephenville, the Bombers punched their ticket for the 12-team TTAB 12U Open Base State Tournament, which begins Monday, July 16 in Chandler, just outside of Tyler.
In the championship victory over Stephenville, the Bombers scored at least one run in all six innings. On the mound, Zack Canada collected the win as he allowed just two hits with eight strikeouts in four-plus innings of work.
The Bombers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Cade Strube led off with a single to right-center field and scored on a one-out wild pitch during Chris Martinez’s at-bat. Martinez later walked and came home on an RBI ground out by Nick Martinez.
The lead grew to 3-0 in the second inning as Canada reached on a one-out error, moved to third on an errant pick-off attempt at first base, and scored on another Stephenville wild pitch.
The Bombers seized firm control of the contest with four runs in the top of the third, increasing the advantage to 7-0.
J.J. Zavala and Strube singled consecutively to start the frame, then an RBI infield single by Kyle Bullard brought home Zavala. Chris Martinez reached on an error as Strube came home with the fifth run, while Bullard scored on the back end of a double steal with Chris Martinez. Later in the frame, an RBI ground out by Bryce Lopez drove home Chris Martinez with the seventh run.
Stephenville struck for two runs in the bottom of the third as Haiden Rudloff led off with a home run to center field, then Nate Barry was hit by a pitch and came home following a rare Ballinger error.
The Bombers were back on the offensive in the top of the fourth, adding three more runs to their tally for a 10-2 cushion. Canada led off with a home run to right field, then Aiden Zavala doubled down the right field line, and an off-target throw to second base allowed him to round the bases. Aven Ochoa followed with a single up the middle and later scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Strube.
The lead reached double digits, 13-2, in the top of the fifth as Nick Martinez singled, Lopez walked and Dakota Falcon drove both home with a single up the middle. Aiden Zavala’s RBI single later brought home Falcon.
Stephenville avoided the 10-run mercy rule by scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth to reduce the deficit to 13-4.
Ballinger added two more runs in the top of the sixth to regain an 11-run advantage, while Stephenville chalked up three runs in its final at-bat — including two on a homer by Creece Brister — but never truly threatened the Bombers.