Bulldogs rout Longhorns

George Ranch third baseman Reece Beheler waits for the ball as Austin senior Ryan Branch slides into third base on a triple in Friday's game at Longhorn Field.

Time is running out for the George Ranch baseball team to put together some wins to get into the District 20-5A playoff picture, as another opportunity to get that win to turn the Longhorns’ season around was put into the backwash.

Amid a wet Longhorn Field on Friday night, George Ranch allowed six runs in the last three innings in a 12-5 loss to Austin, as the Bulldogs pounded out 10 hits and took advantage of four Longhorn errors.

The win keeps Austin’s hopes of making the playoffs intact, now just a game and a half behind fourth-place Dulles for the last playoff spot.

Meanwhile, the loss drops George Ranch to 2-7 in District 20-6A with five games left to play, and the Longhorns are now on the edge of being eliminated from the playoffs.

“We struggled tonight, mentally and physically,” George Ranch head coach Greg Kobza said. “We tried to overcome it by getting some runs in the middle innings, but we’re again struggling to get hits with runners on base and pitching-wise, we struggled there too.

“We didn’t play our best tonight. But we’re going to play it out and see what happens.”

Austin scored in the first inning on an RBI single by outfielder Logan Witt, but the Longhorns took an early lead in the bottom of the second inning as Will Krenek scored on a passed ball by Austin pitcher Ryan Dugas, then Cole Murphy singled with the bases loaded that scored Reece Beheler to put the ‘Horns ahead, 2-1.

But the Bulldogs responded with five runs in the third, as senior Blake Watts and junior Marc Sherman each had two-RBI doubles off George Ranch pitcher Diego Vinton to put Austin up 6-2.

George Ranch cut into the deficit in the fourth inning with runs on Murphy scoring on a wild pitch and a 2-RBI single by Ben Lea to cut the Bulldog lead to a single run at 6-5.

But Austin got a run in the fifth on a passed ball that scored Ryan Branch, then Branch got a 3-RBI double in the sixth inning to make it a 10-5 game.

The Bulldogs added two more in the seventh on a RBI single by freshman Logan Witt and an error that scored Witt.

Witt and junior Harrison Golden had two hits apiece for Austin, while sophomore Tyler Do pitched three scoreless innings in relief, holding George Ranch to only one hit. Dugas got the win with four innings of work with seven strikeouts.

Vinton picked up the loss for George Ranch after giving up six runs on five hits in three innings of work.

Austin, now 12-11 overall and 3-5 in district play, will host Bush on Tuesday. Meanwhile, George Ranch (7-11-2 overall) will try to stop its four-game losing streak with Tuesday’s home game against Ridge Point.

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