Getting superb pitching efforts from starter Braxton Smith and reliever Ryan Gunstream and picking up some timely hits, the Orangefield Bobcats snared the third-place playoff berth out of District 21-3A by downing the Buna Cougars 5-3 at Cougar Stadium Thursday night.
Smith got the win on the hill for the Bobcats (now 6-5 in 21-3A play). He worked five innings, allowing four hits while striking out five and walking three.
Gunstream tossed two innings of scoreless relief and allowed just one hit.
The Bobcats picked up seven hits off Buna pitchers Kolton Clark and Joe Clark.
Blake Permenter had two hits, including a two-run single while Luke Johnson had two hits, one a RBI double, and made a couple excellent plays at shortstop.
“I couldn’t be happier for our kids, they played their tails off,” said Bobcat coach Todd Trawhon. “We got excellent efforts on the mound by Braxton and Ryan and we played excellent on defense. We beat a really scrappy Buna team, we knew it was going to be tough to come in here and win but the kids got it done.”
The Bobcats now move on the face the Tarkington Longhorns, the District 22-3A runnerups, in the bidistrict round of the Class 3A Region III playoffs next week.
Buna (6-6 in 21-3A play) actually grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Glenn Patrick had a leadoff single up the middle and reached second on a error. Joe Clark reached on an error and then Jacob Kelly reached on an error as a bad throw from third allowed Patrick to dart in to score.
The Bobcats snagged three runs off Buna starter Kolton Clark in the top half of the third.
Johnson got it going with an infield single then he swiped second and went to third on a wild pitch. Smith and Cody Angelle drew back-to-back walks to load up the bases.