Bobcats Come Up Just Short in Marathon Game Against Belton
SAN ANGELO, TX--The Central Bobcats battled the Belton Tigers at home Thursday night ultimately losing 7-6 in a 12-inning district game that lasted nearly four hours.
“I thought we competed and that's the main thing. Our starting pitcher got hit off a line drive and just so happens on a popped up but he gets hit on the same spot,” said Central Bobcats Head Coach Patrick Penry. “So, right there as far as things, anything can happen in this game. But, that put us in a different situation than we were used to and I thought several guys stepped up and performed.”
Central came out with an early lead after scoring two runs in the bottom half of the first inning. Rance Rosas scored on a wild pitch and Nixon Brannan was driven in off a double by Hayden Stevens.
Belton started slow offensively, but took a 4-2 lead after Reese Perry scored as well on a wild pitch and Payton Vybird drove in two runs in the inning. Vybird had a strong night for Belton finishing 3-for-6 with two RBI’s.
Tannor Fischer doubled as well and scored later in the inning after Shawn Butler was hit by a pitch with bases loaded to give the Tigers a 4-2 lead.
The Bobcats answered right back with four runs of their own to take a 6-4 lead into the fifth. Cole Nelson was driven in by Rosas who finished the game 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Nelson also drove in two runs in the inning and finished 2-for-6 with a run scored.
In the fifth, Belton gained ground on Central scoring a run on an RBI single by Butler who had an impressive night for the Tigers. He finished 3-for-5 with two RBI’s and two runs scored.
Down 6-5, Belton needed a run to extend the game and they got just that. Hunter Teplansky drove in Drew Cook to tie the game up and send it into extra innings.
Butler scored once again in the top of the 12th inning on a wild pitch after crushing a huge triple to give the Tigers a 7-6 lead. Oscar Nino was able to get on base for the Bobcats in bottom half of the inning, but they were unable to capitalize losing 7-6.
Trey Neslage started on the mound for Central, going three-and-a-third innings in which he allowed four runs on three hits with three strikeouts but not getting the loss.
Rance Rosas, the fourth pitcher for Central, saddled the lionshare of the work in six innings of extended relief. Rosas struck out 10 Tigers and allowed just two hits, but was charged with Belton’s go-ahead run to take the losing decision for the Bobcats.
Blake Mikeska went 4-for-6 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored for Central in the loss. The only other Bobcats to tally multiple hits were Nelson and Rosas.
Penry stated, “We had guys on base late and could have won it with a base knock. It just seemed like we were lining out to them right there. So, [I’m] just extremely proud of the boys and...12-innings, the focus and competitiveness was there the whole game for both sides.”
The Bobcats (9-15, 1-2) will face Copperas Cove next week in another district series on Tuesday at home at 4:30 p.m. and away at 6 p.m. on Friday.