Although Bellville needed to play all games of its best-of-three series to determine the Area Championship with Lampasas, the Brahmas received a couple of dominating performances in the bookending games of the series to advance.
In the first game of the set at The Yard in Cameron, senior Kevin Black was the player of the game for his performance on the mound and at the plate.
The Wharton County Junior College commit got the nod to start the game on the hill and went the distance, keeping the Badgers off the scoreboard while racking up eight strikeouts. Black also played a vital role in the game-changing, eight-run fifth inning where he supplied half of Bellville’s runs that frame via a grand slam to take a 9-0 lead. A couple of insurance runs made the 11-0 decision final after six innings.
The pressure was then on for Lampasas, who needed a win to extend its season and had the opportunity to right after the Game 1 defeat. Ethan Rascoe provided an RBI in the top of the first inning to put the Badgers ahead but they didn’t score again until the sixth when Logan Coleman scored on a passed ball. Marty Ybarra went to work on the mound for Lampasas and limited the Brahma hitters to only one run to force a decisive Game 3 thanks to the 3-1 win.
Bellville hopped out to five runs in the top of the first, four of them thanks to two-out RBI singles, to set the tone of the game and take a lead they would not surrender. Walker Schulz pitched the Brahmas through the rest of the game that saw the Badgers score just two runs in the final inning where it was too little too late and Bellville advanced with the 6-2 final score.
Waiting for the winner of that series were the Fulshear Chargers, the champion of Sealy’s District 25 and the eighth-ranked team in 4A according to the most recent Baseball Coaches Association poll, who already notched playoff sweeps of Navasota and Wimberley.
The Chargers and the Brahmas will now converge on Strickland Field in Weimar for a Regional Quarterfinal best-of-three series with Game 1 set for Wednesday, Game 2 Thursday and Game 3 on Friday, all with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.