Aledo was down to its last strike Thursday night against Birdville. Then the Bearcats caught the break they needed against Hawks ace Jordan Martinson.Wade Raburn plated two runners on a ground-ball error in the top of the seventh inning, tying the game at 2-2 and extending it to extra innings. From there, Aledo ran away with it, scoring six runs in the eighth to put away the Hawks 8-3 in Game 1 of the Class 4A Region I quarterfinals at Saginaw Chisholm Trail High School.The Bearcats (27-6-2) and Hawks (20-8) play Game 2 Friday at 3 p.m. at Chisholm Trail.Martinson was throwing a gem when Luke Glover singled with an out in the seventh and was followed by a walk from Hershel Gardner. Martinson then fanned Zane Scott for his 11th strikeout before walking Tyson Mauser to load the bases. After running the count to 0-2, Martinson was poised for his 12th and game-clinching strikeout. But Raburn hit a ground ball to second base and, after a bobble, the throw to first was late and allowed Glover and Gardner to score. Chris Reed (10-2) retired the Birdville side in order in the bottom of the inning.Then, with the bases loaded in the top of the eighth, Gardner roped a single down the first-base line to score two and give Aledo its first lead of the game. Scott followed with an RBI bunt, then Aledo reeled off four straight singles and scored three more runs. Two Birdville runners reached in the eighth, knocking Aledo starter Reed out of the game.But Colton Clanton retired the second batter he faced, clinching the victory.Reed earned the win, tossing 7 2/3 innings and giving up three runs.
Ryan Osborne 817-390-7760 Twitter: @RyanOsborneFWST