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Sports July 21, 2015  RSS feed

Bison lose championship game to Athens 2-6

by Paul K. Matney

The Buffalo Bison finished runner up in the Texas Teen-Age Association Baseball State Tournament to champion Athens. Athens won for the 2nd year in a row. Paul’s Photo The Buffalo Bison finished runner up in the Texas Teen-Age Association Baseball State Tournament to champion Athens. Athens won for the 2nd year in a row. Paul’s Photo The Texas Teen- Age Association Baseball Tournament came to Buffalo for the 2nd year and the Bison team won 6 games before falling in the finals to Athens 2-6. Athens also won the championship last year. The tournament had 27 teams of high school eligible boys and the teams played on fields at Buffalo, Leon, Fairfield and Palestine from July 17th through July 19th. Buffalo played 3 games in pool play beginning with a game against Comanche on July 17th at 10:00 am. Buffalo had an easy time as they won 10-2. Buf- falo scored 3 times in the 1st inning as Bryce Ryder led off with a triple, Clay McGill and Trey Minter added singles and all three scored. Comanche came back scoring 2 runs in the top of the 2nd. Bryce Pauler and Logan Freeman collected singles in the bottom of the 2nd with Pauler scoring and the Bison had a 4-2 lead after 2 innings. The Bison added 6 more runs in the next 3 innings before the game was halted because of the time limit and the Bison came away with an easy 10-2 victory. The Bison swept their other 2 opponents in pool play and faced a good Crockett team on July 18th at 6:00 pm. Buffalo jumped on top scoring 3 runs in the first on hits by Freeman, Minter and Kevin Carlson and an error by Comanche to lead 3-0. Buffalo added a run in the 2nd on a single by Simpson and a triple by Pauler. Pauler had another triple in the 5th and scored and the Bison had a comfortable 5-0 advantage. Crockett made a game of it as they tallied 3 runs in the top of the 7th but the rally fell short and the Bison got a hard earned 5-3 win. Brady Phelps tossed the first 4 innings, Pauler pitched 2 innings and McGill pitched the 7th inning.

The Bison faced the Wortham Bulldogs in their next game and dominated the Bulldogs 16-1 with the Bulldogs scoring their only run in the top of the 5th inning. Buffalo actually put the game away in the 1st inning sending 10 batters to the plate scoring 5 runs on hits by Ryder, Pauler, Freeman, McGill, and Simpson. The Bison added a single run in the 2nd and put the game out of reach as they tallied 6 in the 3rd and added 4 more in the 4th to lead 16-0. Wortham scored their only run in the top of the 5th on a hit batsman and a Bison error but the game was halted by the 15 run rule after 5 innings. Ryder pitched three innings, Carlson tossed one inning and Ross Bershears pitched the 5th inning. The 3 Bison pitchers combined for a no-hitter .

The win pitted the Bison against another undefeated team the Athens Sports Pro team with the game beginning at 3:30 pm on July 19th. Athens got on the board early as they scored a run in the top of the first. Athens added 2 more in the 3rd to lead 3-0 but Buffalo scored a run the bottom of the third on a double by Phelps who later scored. Athens added a single run in the 5th to forge a 4-1 lead. The Bison scored their 2nd run in the bottom of the 6th on a Freeman double off the fence and scored later in the inning and the Bison trailed 2-4 after six. Athens added 2 insurance runs in the top of the 7th to lead 6-2. Buffalo mounted a threat in the bottom of the 7th on an Athens error and a Mason Jonus single to put runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. The rally was snuffed out on a double play by Athens and Athens won their 2nd Championship in a row with the 6-2 victory over the Bison. Thomas Hudson started for the Bison and after facing 3 batters McGill came on and pitched 2 innings, Pauler tossed 4 innings and Minter pitched the 7th inning. Credit must be given to the Athens pitcher, Brandon Boyd, who pitched the entire 7 innings on a very hot July afternoon. Congratulation to the Athens team.

Coaches Lacey Freeman and Jeff Ryder and their team had a good tournament winning 6 and losing 1. Coach Freeman also coaches his son Lane on the 10U boys team. The team won the District Championship and will be playing in the State Tournament in Brownwood beginning Monday July 20th so Freeman, assistant coach Gene Pruitt and the players will be competing for the 10U championship this week. Good luck at Brownwood.

My wife and I went to a local restaurant on Friday and the waitress said they had been very busy all day with the various teams coming in to eat. Coordinator Monte McGill and all the volunteers are to be commended for a great tournament that brought 27 teams to Buffalo and added dollars to the Buffalo economy. Perhaps Buffalo can have the tournament again next year.

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