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Rangers earn split with NCTC

Rangers earn split with NCTC

Tucker Burton delivered a two-run single to center in the fifth inning on Saturday and helped spur Ranger College to a victory in the first game of a doubleheader with North Central Texas College at Ellis Burks Field. Burton's single sparked a four-run outburst and lifted RC to a 5-1 decision.

Austin Smith picked up the victory for the Rangers.

North Central Texas drew first blood in the matchup. Clay Stevens opened the game with a triple to right. Moments later, Tyrese Clayborne hit a run-scoring sacrifice that put the Lions on top, 1-0.

Ranger fought its way back in the second. Grant French started the comeback by drawing a one-out walk. Following a walk to Tucker Burton that moved French to second, Angel Velez line a run-scoring single to center that knotted the game at 1-1.

Smith took control from there. The Abilene, Texas, standout fanned four NCTC batters over the next three innings and helped the Rangers head into the bottom of the fifth with the score tied.

Victor Bueno got the RC fifth started with a one-out walk. He and Kaleb Thompson raced home later on Burton's RBI single.

Velez, who went 2-for-3 in the game, upped the RC lead to 4-1 seconds later with a double off the wall that plated Burton. Velez came in minutes later on a single to left by Isaiah Ortega-Jones.

NCTC scored twice in the eighth inning of Game 2 and managed to salvage a split of the series with a 10-7 victory. The Lions' two runs in the eighth snapped a 7-7 slugfest.

Bueno enjoyed a stellar outing for the Rangers. The RC first baseman went 3-for-5 from the plate.

The Rangers, now 10-7 overall, will return to action on Wednesday, March 13, when they travel to Temple. Games will begin at 1 and 3:30 p.m.