KILGORE -- Dimitri Fort was the alpha and the omega in Gilmer's eight-inning, 2-1 victory Tuesday against Kilgore at Driller Park.

The Buckeyes' junior right fielder scored both runs for the winning side and helped his club secure second place in District 16-4A in the process. Speed killed.

"Dimitri is one of those scrappy guys," Gilmer head coach Ryan Pate said. "Being my first year, I hadn't seen him play, but he worked his way up the order. Eventually I go, 'I like that guy.' He seems to always find himself on base. He's scrappy and competitive, and that's the kind of guy we need."

Gilmer pitcher Jacob Robinson laid down a bunt to move two bases runners into scoring position in the top of the sixth. The move did not yield any runs.

Fort reached base in three of four plate appearances, granted one was a walk and another was a throwing error off a sacrifice bunt attempt. He constituted three-eighths of the Buckeyes' (12-8, 6-4) total offensive output as a result.

Kade Clemens reached twice on intentional walks, Ryen Lawhorn recorded two base hits and Kollin Hurt walked once.

Kilgore (12-10, 4-5), which was seeking to tie the Buckeyes in the standings with one league game remaining for each team in the district, recorded five hits and benefitted from two defensive errors.

Every time the Bulldogs threatened, starting pitcher Jacob Robinson had an answer on the mound. It took him 88 pitches to record the extended complete game win.

Robinson also had a run to work with immediately.

Fort led the game off on a full count walk and took second base on a wild pitch from Kilgore's starting pitcher against Robinson in the next at-bat. Robinson's ground ball one throw later advanced Fort to third base.

Fort charged in on a second wild pitch while Lawhorn tried to create the run in the box as Gilmer's third batter.

But things got tighter at the start of the second inning when Bulldogs skipper Charles Foshee turned to Zach Dent for a long relief effort. The decision ultimately stretched the game to extra innings.

Kilgore's Collin Pippen digs out a ground ball at third base and fires to first in the third inning. Pippen recorded three putouts Tuesday.

Dent allowed one hit, one base on balls and an intentional walk through his first six innings while suffering a defensive error against Fort. All of which resulted in no runs.

Mason Shelton's no-out, RBI double off the left field wall in the bottom of the fourth put Dent in position to fight for the win. The long ball allowed Jesus Avalos to get home from first base for a 1-1 score.

Trae Clayton almost gave the Bulldogs a go-ahead run in the same segment following two consecutive outs. He hit a shot just wide of the left field foul pole and off the wall before going down on strikes.

In the eighth, however, Fort ran out a 6-3 putout for Gilmer's second hit of the contest. It came with one out already recorded.

Robinson advanced Fort to second on another groundout. Lawhorn gave the runner a chance to come in with a chopper that rolled through the left gap into shallow left field.

Fort beat out a relay throw from Dent near the mound to catcher Zane Dent for the winning run.

"I was running and knew that it was hit to left field," Fort said. "I was thinking I needed to get there or I'd be held at third. I got sent and, when I got there, I saw the ball got there a little earlier. I had to go to the outside because the catcher was on the inside."

Robinson gave up a one-out hit in the bottom half of the inning and recovered for straight contact outs.

Other than being denied second place in District 16-4A, Kilgore walked away in a good position.

Spring Hill defeated Chapel Hill elsewhere to gain a one-game advantage in the chase for the league's fourth and final playoff spot while Bullard topped Gladewater to get within one game of a perfect district record.

The Bulldogs will face Chapel Hill on Friday. A Kilgore win would secure it and Spring Hill playoff spots while Chapel Hill would be eliminated in defeat.

Gilmer, meanwhile, will simultaneously take on Bullard at home with nowhere for either team to go in the standings. Some of the Buckeyes team will miss the game to compete in the Class 4A Region II track meet.

"I don't know if we can relax," Pate said. "We definitely don't want to go to the playoffs not playing well. We do have some starters running the track meet, so we won't have those guys. We'll be down a few guys, but the expectation is the same."

Gilmer starter Jacob Robinson went the distance in the Buckeyes' extra innings win on 88 pitches.

Gilmer 2, Kilgore 1 (Eight Innings)

District 16-4A
At Driller Park, Kilgore

Gilmer      100    000    01    --   2    3   2
Kilgore      000    100    00    --   1   5   1

Pitchers and catchers
  • Gilmer: Jacob Robinson and Jackson Sikes
  • Kilgore: Michael Hampton, Zach Dent (2) and Zane Dent
  • WP -- Robinson
  • LP -- Zach Dent
  • Kilgore: Mason Shelton