By Aries Ramos

The Belton Journal

The highly anticipated 2024 playoff season kicked off as the Lake Belton Broncos baseball team made their way to Salado. This was the first game of a potential three-game series, a crucial match against the formidable Magnolia West Mustangs.

Game one kicked off with both teams feeling each other out. The first inning went by with both teams’ outfields getting a quick three outs. Despite both teams’ best efforts, neither could find a way to get the bat on the ball.

Each team continued to hold out hope of a run-scoring as the game entered the 4th inning with the score still tied 0-0. The runless game was turning into a chess match, and it seemed that whoever messed up Forest would be the one to go home with a game-one loss.

The game entered the 5th inning, and things were getting tense as the score was still 0-0. The Mustangs would be the first ones to break the tie thanks to a line-drive single by Magnolia’s Garrett Bagwell. Bagwell’s hit drove in a runner from 2nd, giving the Mustangs a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the inning.

However, the Broncos would answer quickly, scoring a run in the bottom of the 5th inning. The Broncos’ run gave the team newfound life as they tried to add one more before the end of the inning. The Mustangs, however, stood tall and escaped the inning, giving up only one run.

Despite the Broncos rallying from behind in the 5th inning, the Mustangs could hold out and earn a 3-2 win over the Broncos in game 1. The Broncos returned to the drawing board before heading out for game 2 to save the season.

Game two had the same feel and character as the first game between these two teams. The game started with both teams feeling each other out as they got ready for battle.

The game mimicked the first in low-scoring until a team finally broke through. When the runs started to pile up, the Broncos found themselves playing from behind again. Despite their best efforts, the Broncos could not find a way to finish the game on top. The Broncos fell 5-4 in game two.

The Broncos’ 5-4 loss ended their season. Despite not being the way the team had hoped to finish, the Broncos had a season that would help build their young school’s program. The Broncos finished the season 26-7 overall with a 14-0 district record. The Broncos’ regular-season play helped them reach a top-5 rank in the state.