KATY – The No. 9 state-ranked Brenham Cubs were on their game in all facets Thursday in an impressive performance against the Friendswood Mustangs.
Brenham scored in each of the first five innings, and starting pitcher Blake Wellman took a shutout into the seventh inning as Friendswood was defeated, 6-1, in Game 1 of its best-of-three regional semifinal series at Katy High School.
Instead of one big inning, Brenham steadily pulled away with five solid innings, scoring two in the top of the first, and one run in the second through fifth innings.
Seven different Cubs players recorded hits in the well-rounded effort, and Brenham totaled 12 as a team. Catcher Sam McElreath led the way for Brenham, going 3-for-4 with a solo home run and two singles.
Wellman pitched a complete game for the Cubs, giving up one run (unearned) on five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.
Designated hitter Hunter Kirkland was Friendswood’s top hitter, going 2-for-3 with two singles.
Also recording hits for the Mustangs were right fielder Lael Lockhart with a double, catcher Ryan DuPuis with a single, and a single by first baseman Walker Williams.
The Mustangs scored their lone run of the game with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning after DuPuis, who reached base on a walk, came home on a shortstop fielding error on a grounder hit by pinch hitter Brandon Augustine.
Lockhart drew a walk to put runners on first and second with two outs, but the late Friendswood rally ended on a swinging strikeout by pinch hitter Travis LeBlanc.
Ryan Shetter started on the mound for the Mustangs, giving up six runs on 11 hits and two walks with two strikeouts in five innings of work.
Bradley Tinger and Joshua Crain threw a scoreless inning each for Friendswood.
High school playoff glance
Friendswood vs. Brenham
All games at Katy High School
Game 1: Brenham 6, Friendswood 1
Game 2: 5:30 p.m. today
*Game 3: 30 minutes after Game 2
* If necessary