MADILL — Davis needed every run it scored.
The Wolves took a six-run lead into the bottom of the fourth inning, and withstood a Sulphur rally.
Trailing by two runs entering the final half-inning, Sulphur scored once and had the tying run 90 feet away, but Tye Brown was stranded.
Davis pitcher Tyler Brubaker induced a ground ball, and Davis defeated the Bulldogs 8-7 on Thursday in the first round of the Lake Country Conference Tournament at Madill.
Brubaker threw a complete game for the Wolves, who defeated Sulphur (6-5) for the second time in six days.
“That’s always good, anytime you get a complete game,” said Davis coach Chance Linville. “We’ve been depending on our guys to do that for us all year, and they’ve come through.
“Tyler has had a good outing every time. Today was just more of the same. He had one bad inning, and we’ll work to get that resolved.”
Davis entered the fourth facing a deficit, as Sulphur’s Ty Crenshaw hit an RBI single and Ryan Rackley clubbed a run-scoring double.
Following a seven-run top of the fourth inning, the Wolves (6-6) surrendered four runs on two hits in the home half of the inning. Linville said his team has letdowns after it scores runs. It must avoid those miscues.
“We make an error, and we try to do too much on the mound, instead of just our job, and they hit the ball,” he said.
“Their pitcher [Nick Magruder] battled. He had one bad inning. It just so happened that his inning was a little bit worse than our pitcher’s. That’s what it came down to.”
Linville said his team can’t get satisfied with scoring in one inning.
“We’ll work to get better at that,” he said.
J.T. Maynard led off with a single. Rackley, the Sulphur third baseman, threw out Braden Ruth on a fielder’s choice. Jace Garrison drew a walk, and then Rackley committed a fielding error to load the bases. The next three Davis hitters — Lance Chronister, Brubaker and Dalton Ingram — collected RBI singles. Two more Sulphur errors allowed six additional hitters to bat.
Magruder struck out Paxton Killblane to end the inning, wherein 13 men made a plate appearance.
“We misplayed two balls in right field, and made a couple errors on the infield. Other than that, we hold them to maybe a couple runs there and it’s not that big of a deal,” said Sulphur coach Corey Cole. “Other than one inning, (Magruder) really did a great job. He pitched really well.
“Our struggle right now is that we’re not making routine plays. If we make routine plays in that one inning, they may score three runs, four runs total.”
Sulphur is also struggling with its approach at the plate. To improve upon that issue, the Bulldogs must show more discipline in the batter’s box and be more relaxed defensively, Cole said.
“It was a really great, competitive ball game. ... We just made more mistakes. We’ve got to sprint back there to the ball, give ourselves a chance [to make the catch].
“We’re going to make mistakes. The good baseball players, the good teams, when they make a mistake, they clear their minds and get ready for the next pitch. Baseball can be a cruel game. Sometimes we don’t clear our minds very well.”
Due to the Wolves’ prom Friday night, Davis will play Lone Grove today at noon.
The Wolves beat a quality foe to reach the contest against the Longhorns.
“We know those guys, and sure we want to beat them,” Linville said of Sulphur. “That’s a good baseball team, so it’s a quality win for us.”