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Bragwell's no-hitter has Red Bay on brink of playoffs

Kolby Bragwell threw a no-hitter for Red Bay on Thursday in the second game of a doubleheader at Lamar County, leading the Tigers to an 11-0 win that has them on the verge of clinching a playoff spot.
 
After dropping Thursday’s opener in Vernon 4-2, Red Bay (14-10, 2-3 in Class 2A, Area 14) had to win game two to avoid being eliminated from playoff contention. Bragwell, a junior righthander, came through in the clutch, retiring 21 of the last 22 batters he faced and holding the Bulldogs without a hit in his first complete game of the season.
 
The Tigers can now clinch a playoff berth with a win over Sulligent today in a makeup area game postponed from last week due to wet weather.
 
Bragwell walked the leadoff batter in the bottom of the first inning (his only free pass of the game), and the next man reached on an error. Bragwell got two groundouts and a strikeout to escape the jam, starting a string of 11 consecutive batters retired. Lamar County had a man reach on an error with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, but Bragwell got a groundball to end the inning and then retired the side in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh.
 
Bragwell (1-2) had pitched only sparingly this season prior to Thursday due to nagging arm trouble, working a total of 9.1 innings across nine appearances. He was lights-out with the season on the line, however, throwing 67 of his 91 pitches for strikes and getting 12 groundball outs. He struck out six and walked just one.
 
The Tigers took the lead in the top of the second when Kaleb Bragwell singled and eventually scored on an error to make it 1-0. They added four more runs in the third with a heavy dose of small ball. After Kolby Bragwell reached on an error and Hayden Murray singled, the next four batters—Chase Allen, Kaleb Bragwell, Luke Rooker and Colbie King—all reached safely on bunts as the lead grew to 5-0.
 
Red Bay added a run in the fourth and then got a two-run double from Kolby Bragwell in the fifth to make it 8-0. The Tigers tacked on three more runs in the top of the seventh, getting a two-run double from Skylar Brazil and a sac fly from Allen.
 
In addition to his stellar work on the mound, Kolby Bragwell also went 3-for-5 at the plate and is now batting .554 (41-for-74) on the season. Brazil was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. Murray went 2-for-3 and walked twice, and Alex Burroughs was 1-for-4 with two runs scored. Allen went 1-for-3 and drove in two runs. Kaleb Bragwell was 1-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored, and King had one hit.
 
In Thursday’s first game, Red Bay grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning but did not score again in the 4-2 loss that evened the series at one game apiece.
 
Chase Allen (3-4) pitched a complete game but took the loss for the Tigers, allowing two earned runs on eight hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked five.
 
Brazil, Murray and King each had one hit for Red Bay.
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