HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL PLAYOFFS ROUNDUP: Early tops Ballinger in Game 1 of area series
Early High School knocked off Ballinger 14-3 in five innings in Game 1 of a Class 3A Region I area playoff series Thursday at Abilene Christian University's Crutcher Scott Field.
Early improved to 21-9. Ballinger dropped to 12-16-1.
"It happens," Ballinger head coach Matt McBrayer said. "When you're in a competitive sport playing another good team, sometimes it doesn't always go your way.
"It's not very fun when you lose, but the good thing is we do have another game left and anything can happen. We've just got to come back (Friday) and regroup and see what we can do and let's have everybody going in the same direction."
Caydon Laird got the win on the mound for Early.
Jeremy Brown had three hits for the Longhorns.
Lane Busenlehner, who took the loss on the mound, and Nakia Villareal had two hits apiece for the Bearcats.
The Longhorns avenged a 3-0 loss against Ballinger during the regular season.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday. If a third game is necessary, it will be 5 p.m. Saturday.
The winner plays either No. 2 Jim Ned or Bowie in the regional quarterfinals next week.
The Bearcats have never advanced past the second round of the playoffs in program history.
Hawley 7, Eldorado 5
The Hawley Bearcats edged the Eldorado Eagles in Game 1 of their Class 2A area playoff Thursday night at Nathan Donsky Field.
Hawley improved to 9-19, and Eldorado dropped to 8-8.
The Bearcats led 3-0 after the first inning and 4-0 after two, before Eldorado pushed three runs across in the third to get within 4-3.
After scoring two in the top of the sixth, Eldorado was clinging to a 5-4 advantage, only to see Hawley respond with three in the bottom half of the frame for the final margin.
Game 2 is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday. A third game, if necessary will follow 30 minutes later.
Kolter Willeford and Tanner Gallimore drove in one run apiece for Hawley.
Eagles starting pitcher Kaden Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for Eldorado. David Barajas drove in one run.
Gonzalez allowed seven hits and five runs, including two earned, in 5.1 innings. He struck out eight and didn't allow any walks.
Jason Covarrubiaz took the loss after giving up three hits and two runs in two-thirds of an inning.
No. 6 Albany 8, Ozona 1
In a battle of Lions, Albany took Game 1 of a Class 2A Region I area playoff series Thursday at Hermleigh.
Albany improved to 17-3-1, while dropping Ozona to 12-8-1.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is slated for 4 p.m. Friday. A third game, if necessary, will follow 30 minutes later.
Forsan 3, Hamilton 0
The Forsan Buffaloes shut out the Tigers in the opening game of a best-of-three Class 2A Region I area playoff series Thursday night at Abilene Christian University's Crutcher Scott Field.
Game 2 is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. A third game, if necessary, will be at 7 p.m. Saturday.
This roundup will be updated.