Kilgore Hangs on Against Spring Hill to Stay Ahead of 16-3A Curve + District Roundup
KILGORE -- The Bulldogs got even with Spring Hill when it mattered most after coughing up their district opener to the Panthers in March.
Both teams were part of a first-place tie in District 16-3A entering Thursday along with Chapel Hill and Gilmer. With a 7-5 Kilgore win, the Bulldogs still share a hold of first place with Gilmer while Chapel Hill was tripped up by Henderson elsewhere in the league.
"We've come a long way, mentally, just being able to finish games now," Bulldogs' skipper Charles Foshee said. "Early in the year, we had a lot of one-run losses. We finally learned you've just got to relax and play. That's what these guys are doing. They want to go out. They're having fun, but they're competing. It's a fun thing to be a part of right now."
One of those one-run defeats was against the Panthers, but it appeared Kilgore (9-8-1, 5-2) could deflate Spring Hill (9-9-2, 4-3) before the sun went down at Driller Park.
The Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead in the bottom first, and when the Panthers returned fire with two runs in the top third Kilgore answered right back by batting around the order and building a 5-2 advantage.
"They've come a long way as far as just believing," Foshee said. "Believing they can win. We've done it with several different guys. It hasn't been just one guy which is awesome to see."
The 5-2 score held through the fourth inning, but Spring Hill threatened with its second man of the night tagged out by Kilgore catcher Austin Bullard to close the top fifth.
Kilgore made the Panthers pay for their second base running gaffe when Jarod Wood connected for a two-out RBI single in the bottom fifth.
Were the Bulldogs really going to run away with the game?
Spring Hill chased Bulldogs starter Seth Whisenhunt in the sixth after scoring a run via a fielding error and getting the next two batters in scoring position.
Whisenhunt completed 5.1 innings on 95 pitches with three recorded strikeouts.
The Panthers then scored runs on back-to-back plate appearances against reliever Brady Daughdrill before the pitcher forced two fly balls to center field.
Kilgore added a final run in the bottom sixth on a fielder's choice.
Daughdrill returned to the mound and retired the batters in order to wrap up the win.
"We had a problem in our last game against them," Bullard said. "We had a lead on them and they came back and got us in our first district game. It looked like they were going to do it again, but luckily Seth pitched a great game and Brady Daughdrill came in and finished it up for us. We were able to come through and finish."
Bullard got plunked three times. He crossed the plate after getting hit in the first inning and forced a run home when he was pegged in the second inning with the bases loaded.
The catcher also laid down a sacrifice bunt for a highly productive 0-for-0 night.
"I get pegged, we're on a roll, maybe eight games in a row," Bullard said. "Got pegged three times in this one. That wasn't fun, but we're working on a point system and I'm racking up points as I get pegged. So not too mad about it."
Kilgore's share of the district lead will be on the line when it takes on Bullard at 6:30 p.m. today. Spring Hill returns to its home ballpark to play Gladewater simultaneously.
"It's a grind," Foshee said. "But I think we're at the point where we can handle that. We're just going to go out, do what we do and see where we fall."
Kilgore 7, Spring Hill 5
District 16-3A Baseball
Spring Hill 020 003 0 -- 5 10 3
Kilgore 230 011 X -- 7 8 2
Pitchers and catchers
- Spring Hill: Nathan Methvin and Cameron Copeland.
- Kilgore: Seth Whisenhunt, Brady Daughdrill (6) and Austin Bullard.
WP -- Whisenhunt.
LP -- Methvin.
- Spring Hill: Methvin, Hagen Tucker.
Chapel Hill Drops Back With 10-6 Loss Against Henderson
NEW CHAPEL HILL -- Pat Day allowed just two earned runs in 3.1 innings of work, but he was the victim of four unearned runs before Chapel Hill had to get him out of the fire.
Henderson held a 7-1 lead through three and a half innings of play before Chapel Hill exploded for five runs in the bottom fourth.
Unfortunately for Chapel Hill, that's where the scoring stopped.
Henderson added two runs in the sixth and plated another runner in the seventh inning to close the game.
Connor Dotson, Dalton Goode and Collin Neal all batted 2-for-4 in the game for Henderson. Dotson recorded a game-best 3 RBIs.
Day led Chapel Hill with a 2-for-4 night and 3 RBIs of his own.
The loss knocked Chapel Hill out of a share for the district lead. It is now tied with Spring Hill with a 5-3 league record.
Henderson moved to 3-4 in 16-3A.
Chapel Hill visits Gilmer today at 6:30 p.m.
Other Key Score
- Gilmer 6, Gladewater 2