“Never underestimate the heart of a champion.” Rudy Tomjanovich
The Brenham Cubs showed the heart of a true champion Friday night as they rallied from two runs down with two outs in the seventh inning, to win an eight-inning thriller over Friendswood, 6-5.
The win clinched a two-game semifinal sweep and sends the Cubs into the Region III/4A Final against George Ranch next week.
The Cubs (26-9) trailed 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs—just one out away from a third and deciding game.
But Rayne Richard cut the lead to one run with an rbi-double that scored Teddy Hoffman, who’d walked and stole second to get into scoring position.
After an intentional walk to Blake Wellmann, Dylan Lester lined and rbi-single, scoring pinch runner Jack Baker and sending the game into extra innings tied at 5-5.
In the top of the eighth, Hoffman who was on in relief of Lester, erased a leadoff single by Carter Gwynne by making a diving catch of a bunt attempt by Jacob Gwynne, then doubling off his brother with a strong throw to first from his knees.
Lester had put the Cubs in position to get back into the game with three-and-a-third innings of stellar relief. The right-hander held the Mustangs (23-14) scoreless on just one hit while striking out five.
“Dylan was incredible,” said Cubs coach Lanny Williams. “I told him just keep it close and give us a chance…and that’s exactly what he did. He was awesome, man…awesome. I’m so proud of him.”
With the game tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth, the first two Brenham hitters grounded out and the two appeared destined to go to the ninth.
But, a two-out walk to Ryan Newman brought Hoffman to the plate. Hoffman appeared to have won the game with a two-run blast to straight away center field—but a balk call just before the pitch was delivered wiped out the walk off homer.
After Newman took second on the balk, Hoffman was intentionally walked bringing Dakota Brewton to the plate.
Brewton worked the count to 3-and-1 before ripping the next pitch over the rightfielder’s head and driving home pinch runner Matt Zettle with the game-winner and sending the huge Cubs’ crowd into an absolute frenzy.
Williams said of Brewton, “I was so mad a Dakota after the last at bat (a popup to the catcher in the seventh), but this time he was patient waited for a good pitch to hit at 3-1 and just drove it. He did a great job.”
The Cubs had a 1-0 lead in the fourth when the Mustangs erupted for five runs—three on a two-out, bases-loaded double by Bryan Fowler. But those would be the only runs of the night for Friendswood.
The Cubs worked their way back to within two with a solo homerun by Wellmann, his first of the season, and a sacrifice fly by Jacob Stegent.
The win, coupled with Brenham’s 6-1 win Friday night, gives the Cubs a two-game sweep and sets up a Region Championship match up with George Ranch.
George Ranch swept Magnolia by scores of 9-7, Thursday and 15-2, Friday.
Coincidentally, the Cubs defeated the Longhorns, 35-6 to win the Region III/4A Football Championship back in December.
The particulars of the next round will be worked out over the weekend.
There will be live coverage on KWHI and www.kwhi.com.