BRENHAM, Texas – It got ugly Friday at the 2019 Texas American Legion State Baseball Tournament.
Liberty-Eylau graduate Matthew O’Neal pitched a gem Friday morning leading the Bowie County Eagles past the Texarkana Bulldogs, 3-1.
Shortly after that game League City coaches protested Bowie County did not have a legal roster of 12 players. Officials upheld the protest, declaring League City to be state champions, according to Bulldogs’ coach Kevin Sutton.
Sutton said he did not want to protest Bowie County’s win over his Bulldogs, but Bowie County coaches urged him to do so. The Eagles’ win was ruled a forfeit, and the Bulldogs outscored League City Friday afternoon, 12-8. The two American Legion teams play again Saturday morning for the championship.
“Bowie County beat us fair and square, and we were getting ready to go home,” said Sutton. “I wasn’t going to protest, but Mr. Twisdale and his people asked us to protest. They hung around and cheered for us against League City, too. Everyone knew Bowie County only had nine players, but League City officials waiting for their moment before protesting.”
Riles, Lyles homer in American Legion win
Texarkana (31-7-1) banged out 13 hits, including home runs by Marzavin Riles and Chris Lyles. Zane Cox and Lyles led the Bulldogs with three hits each, while Chris Sutton contributed two hits.
Atlanta’s Hunter Allen started on the mound and got the pitching win, allowing four runs and seven hits in six innings of work. Tucker Anderson and Cross Holder came out of the bullpen, with Anderson recording the final two outs of the game.
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard early when Cox drove in a run on an infield grounder. Texarkana added four runs in the third inning when Riles hit a 3-2 offering out for a two-run homer. A League City error, and bunt by Keaton Russo scored two more runs.
League City gave Texarkana fans a scare in the seventh inning with a four-run uprising.
Shortstop Bryce Montemayor led League City at the plate with three hits. Garrett Poston, Matthew Etzel and Grant Pfaff had two hits each for the losers. Cooper Timmons started on the mound and took the loss. He allowed 10 hits and 10 runs in 4.2 innings.