The Granbury Pirates had the powerful Aledo Bearcats just where they wanted them Tuesday night at Tidwell Field.
Thursday, they found themselves on the verge of pulling off a victory at mighty Arlington Heights.
Instead, they came away with heartbreaking setbacks in each game.
The Bearcats rallied for a pair of runs in the top of the seventh, followed by three runs in the eighth, for a 7-4 victory.
Heights scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth after a walk, and an error on a pickoff attempt sent the runner to third. This was after Granbury left the bases loaded in the top of the sixth.
The wins left Aledo (16-5 overall) tied with Arlington Heights (14-6 overall) for first place in District 7-4A, both with 6-1 records. However, the Bearcats own a 3-2 win over Heights in the district opener.
Granbury (10-9 overall) slipped to 4-3 in district and is in fourth place, a game behind Southwest.
“We haven’t caught any breaks, but we haven’t created any either,” said Granbury coach Brad Hart. “We’ve played hard and just haven’t been able to break through.
“We’ve just got to keep plugging along and see what happens.”
The Pirates took the lead against Aledo with a three-run outburst of their own in the bottom of the fifth. Then, when they entered the seventh with a 4-2 advantage, they appeared to have things in hand.
A controversial call on a pickoff attempt at second base did not go the Pirates’ way. So instead of having an out and two strikes on the Bearcats’ No. 9 hitter, they surrendered a hit and soon the game was tied.
Things fell apart for the Pirates in the eighth.
Pirate pitchers walked five batters, including three during the late Aledo rally.
Ironically, the Pirates matched the Bearcats hit-for-hit with each team collecting nine. They also committed two errors to four for Aledo.
Nathan Hickey led all Pirate hitters by reaching base four times, twice on base hits and twice on walks. Miles Wagner had two hits, including a double, and was hit by a pitch.
Wagner had a double and drove in the only run against Heights. He also went the distance pitching.
Aledo was led by its Nos. 8 and 9 hitters, Taco Andeson and Zane Scott. Anderson was 3-for-4, while Scott was 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and a couple runs batted in.
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Aledo 002 000 23 – 7 9 4
Granbury 001 030 00 – 4 9 2
Granbury pitching – Nathan Hickey 6 innings, 7 hits, 4 earned runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts; Daniel Arnett (0-3) 1 2/3 innings, 2 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 3 walks, 1 strikeout; Payton Rhodes 1/3 inning, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 0 strikeouts.
Granbury hitting – Hickey 2-3, 2 walks; Arnett 2-4, RBI; Miles Wagner 2-3, double, hit by pitch, RBI; Tristen Fallin 2-4, RBI; Caleb Bendewald 1-4.
Records – Granbury 10-8, 4-2 in 7-4A: Aledo 16-5, 5-1.
Granbury 000 100 0 – 1 4 2
Arl. Heights 010 010 x – 2 7 1
Granbury pitching – Wagner (5-2) 6 innings, 7 hits, 2 earned runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts.
Granbury hitting – Wagner 1-2, double, RBI; Tyler Titus 1-2, walk; Bendewald 1-2, hit by pitch, Hickey 1-3.
Records – Granbury 10-9, 4-3 in 7-4A; Heights 14-6, 6-1.