CLEBURNE, Texas — The University of Texas of the Permian Basin got eight strong innings from Ivan Thomas and edged East Central 2-1 in bracket play at the Alpine Fresh 4-Him Classic Thursday afternoon at Corbitt Field.
In the Tigers’ second game of the tournament, Colorado Christian University scored eight runs over the final two innings to pull away from ECU 9-3.
The tournament continued Friday and will wrap up with the championship round today.
Permian Basin 2, ECU 1
East Central scratched for a single run in the bottom of the first inning before being shut out the rest of the way.
Zach Lehman led off the first inning with a walk before Tanner Barnes hit a sacrifice bunt to move the runner over. Dakota Washington then tripled to right field to drive ECU’s lone run.
Thomas got a strikeout and a groundout to strand Washington at third base and leave ECU ahead 1-0. The Permian Basin hurler would settle in for the rest of the afternoon. Thomas would go eight innings allowing just one hit after the first inning while striking out six.
Jonny Chavez (0-2) was solid on the mound for East Central. He struck out eight, walked two and gave up just two earned runs in six innings of work. Reliever Hunter Pogue struck out five over the last three Permian Basic scoreless innings.
After having one base runner for the first three innings, the Falcons opened the fourth with three straight runners.
Tylor Frailey worked a leadoff walk and moved to second on the single by Peyton Koopman. Clean-up hitter Alex Wixson tied the ballgame on an RBI-single, moving Koopman to third. Skyler Palermo drove Koopman in on a sacrifice fly to right for what would turn out to be the game-winning RBI.
Texas Permian reliever Paul McRae pitched a clean ninth inning, striking out two while earning his first save.
The Tigers’ only other hit in the game came when Lehman led off the bottom of the sixth. That runner was stranded at third base.
Colorado Christian 9, ECU 3
East Central again scored a run in the first inning.
Tanner Barnes hit a one-out triple to right field and raced home on a sacrifice fly by Washington to put ECU on top 1-0.
ECU got hits from Josh Lincoln and Zac Lehman to start off the third inning and Barnes reached on an error to load the bases.
But Dakota Washington hit into a double play, and Dylan Lang flew out to end that Tiger threat.
Colorado Christian finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. with a two-out, RBI hit by Hunter Hays that knotted the score at 1-1.
East Central answered in the top of the seventh.
Lincoln and Lehman got back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners with no outs. Lincoln scored on a wild pitch and Lehman advanced to third. Washington was issued a one-out intentional walk to again put runners on the corners.
However, CCU escaped the inning without further damage when he was thrown out at home trying to score on a passed ball and Lang struck out.
The Tigers carried a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh before the Cougars rallied again.
Hays delivered a two-RBI single for CCU, while Drew Kennedy later cracked an RBI double to put the Cougars on top 4-2.
Colorado Christian broke open the game with a five-run uprising in the bottom of the eight to take a 9-2 lead.
Lang cracked an RBI single for ECU in the top of the ninth to end the scoring.
Lincoln, Lehman and Tag Sparks all had two hits apiece in a 10-hit Tiger attack.
Heath Hays led CCU, going 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs.
The Tigers got a great pitching start from Alex Lemmon, who struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter in six innings of work. Gage Wall, a product of Byng High School, suffered the loss in relief.