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Bearcats win in extras to remain unbeaten in district play


It’s taken a myriad of clutch moments for the Aledo Bearcats baseball team to reach the 9-0 mark in District 5-5A. Their 7-3 win over the hosting Azle Hornets on Tuesday, April 16, was no exception.

The win moved the Bearcats, who have already clinched a playoff berth, to within one victory of wrapping up the district championship.

Aledo (19-8-1 overall) and Azle concluded the seventh inning tied at 3-3, headed for extra innings. Both teams made it through the first inning of free baseball unscathed on their way to the top of the ninth.

Then it clicked.

With the nine-one-two hitters coming up in the top of the ninth, the Bearcats were able to dial into that clutch gene they’ve had all season. Luke Trager led off the inning with a single to center field to give the Bearcats an all-important baserunner to start off the frame as the lineup turned over.

Brooks Burdine laid down an attempted sacrifice bunt to move Trager over to second, but Burdine beat out the throw to first turning the sacrifice attempt into an infield single as Trager advanced to second.

With a pair of runners on and no outs, Boyd Thompson laid down a bunt of his own. A throwing error by the pitcher trying to get Trager with the force out at third allowed the go-ahead run to score as Trager crossed the plate. Burdine and Thompson advanced a base on the play putting both runners in scoring position. 

Ryan Jones drew a walk to load the bases as Drew Weckel strolled to the plate with no outs. Weckel did his job, hitting a deep fly ball to center for the sac fly as Trager trotted home from third to put the Bearcats up 4-3.

With a pair of runners still on the basepath, Brennon Evans clubbed a line drive to center as both Burdine and Thompson wheeled around the bases to score. Aledo enjoyed a 6-3 lead with just one out in the inning.

Weston Nance kept the rally going with a fly ball to left field. The ball was caught for the second out, but was hit deep enough to score the final run of the evening for the Bearcats.

Luke Sandefur came out for his fourth inning of work with the Bearcats looking to him to shut the door on the Hornets. He did exactly what the team needed, as he closed out Azle without a hitch.

Aledo will close out their two-game set with Azle on Friday, April 19, when the Hornets come to town. First pitch for that game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Then, following a home non-district game with Mansfield Lake Ridge at noon on Saturday, April 20, they have a home-and-home series with Wichita Falls Rider to end the regular season. The Raiders come to Aledo on Tuesday, April 23 and the Bearcats go to Wichita Falls on Friday, April 26, both games starting at 6:30 p.m.

Aledo vs. Azle – Tues, April 16

                                    R  H  E

Bearcats        101 001 004 - 7   9   2

Azle      000 030 000 - 3   4   5

Aledo hitting: Brooks Burdine 2-for-2, 2 BB, 3 R, RBI; Boyd Thompson 2-for-5, R; Ryan Jones 1-for-4, SB, BB, R; Drew Weckel 1-for-4, HBP, RBI; Brennon Evans 1-for-5,  2 RBI, SB; Johnny Ruflin BB, R; Lucas Nawrocki 1-for-3, 2B, BB; Luke Trager 1-for-3, R.

Aledo pitching: Luke Saunders 4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 earned), 2 BB, 9 K; Luke Sandefur 4.1 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K.

Aledo vs. Euless Trinity – Sat, April 13

                                          R  H   E

Trinity         000 050 0 - 5   8   0

Bearcats      001 600 X - 7   7   3

Aledo hitting: Thompson 2-for-2, 2 SB, 2 R, RBI, BB; Weston Nance 2 BB, R, RBI; Jones 2-for-4, 2B, SB, 3 RBI; Jake Bumgardner 1-for-1, BB; Saunders 1-for-2, R; Jake Huffman 1-for-3, R, RBI.

Aledo pitching: Eddie Howard 1 IP, K; R Haug 1 IP, K; Bumgardner 1 IP, BB, K; Jones 1 IP, 2 H; Ryan Spiers 0.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R (4 earned), 2 BB, K; Ethan Hodo 0.2 IP; Jake Paulsen 1 IP, H; Jack Kimsey 1 IP, H, BB, K.

Aledo vs. Northwest – Fri, April 12

                                          R   H   E

Bearcats 400 000 0 - 4   5   2

Northwest 200 001 0 - 3   2   2

Aledo hitting: Br. Burdine 2 BB, R; Thompson 1-for-3, R; Jones 1-for-3, BB, R; Weckel 2 RBI, R; Nance 2-for-3, RBI; Ruflin 1-for-2, RBI; Trager BB.

Aledo pitching: Devin Miller 6 IP, 2 H, 3 R (1 earned), BB, K; Sandefur 1 IP, BB, K.


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