The Tolar Rattlers (23-8-2) held off a comeback by Collinsville (30-6-1) Wednesday night to win 6-4 in the opening game of their best-of-three Class 2A Region 2 baseball final playoff series at Chisholm Trail High School in Fort Worth.
The Rattlers jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the bottom of the first inning and built their advantage to 5-0 after five innings before the Pirates began their comeback with a pair of runs. Jesse Owen's solo home run in the bottom of the sixth provided a little more cushion before Collinsville scored two more in the top of the seventh.
Tolar pitcher Talan Brown struck out the final batter to end the rally. It was his fifth strikeout of the game opposite no walks.
Talan Culberson led Tolar at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI. Merritt Imel also drove in two runs and Clayton Stembridge had one RBI.
The teams are meeting again today (Thursday, June 1) at the same site, with the first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m. A Tolar win will send the Rattlers to their first appearance in the state baseball tournament, while a Collinsville victory will force a winner-take-all third game following Game 2.
The Class 2A State Tournament is set for Wednesday and Thursday, June 7-8 at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. The semifinals are scheduled for 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, with the championship set for 2 p.m. Thursday.
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