Lions take two from Kilgore, as playoff races heat up

Mitch Lucas, Kilgore News Herald, Texas
·4 min read

Apr. 17—They don't call it an "upset" because both teams leave happy.

Kilgore High School's Diamond 'Dogs had beaten rival Henderson earlier this season, along the waters of the District 16-4A schedule. But the waters got choppy on Tuesday night, and this time, the Lions roared a little louder, dealing the 'Dogs a 4-2 loss.

Here at Stream-Flo Field, things didn't look any better for the Lady Bulldogs, a 7-0 loss, also to Henderson.

But there's hope, on both fronts. Read on.

Both are in action today, after rain-outs on Friday. Kilgore softball will play at 2 p.m. at Bullard, and Kilgore baseball will host Spring Hill tonight at 5.

Kilgore baseball falls to 14-7 overall, and 5-3 in 16-4A play. It'll be about impossible to catch Bullard, who is undefeated in district play and has at least a two-game lead over everyone else. Kilgore still has four games to play — three of them district — and one of them, of course, is today's game against Spring Hill.

A win over SHHS would catapult Kilgore right back into second place, or a tie for second place, if the right things happen. A loss could damage but not finish off the Bulldogs' playoff hopes: the top four teams in the district make the playoffs. Kilgore lost both games to Bullard, but doesn't face them again, and is fighting Spring Hill and Lindale for that second-place finish. Henderson is also still in the mix — five teams battling for four spots, with Bullard already a shoo-in for one of them.

Tuesday night at Henderson, the Bulldogs and Lions were in a tight 2-1 contest until the Lions managed some insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth; that made it 4-1. Kilgore scored again in the top of the sixth, but just couldn't catch Henderson.

Kilgore finished with five hits: Hunter Pipak went 2-for-2, with a double, and then Dalton McElyea, Chris Ervin, and Thomas Hattaway each had a hit. Hattaway and Pipak each had an RBI.

Henderson only had four hits, but one of them was a 2-RBI triple by Christian Brown. J.T. Howard, Cole Bradley and Tobaius Jackson also each had a hit, and Aden Butler had an RBI.

The Bulldogs got five innings and 91 pitches from senior Cade Pippen, who allowed four runs (two of them earned) on four hits, with two walks and a strikeout. Chase Lewis came on for an inning, giving up zeroes across the board, with one strikeout, on eight pitches.

Quinton Moon got the win for the Lions, throwing a complete seven-inning game. He allowed both of Kilgore's runs that were earned, the five hits, a walk, and struck out seven in the process.

On Tuesday night, the Bulldogs visit Lindale, a 7 p.m. start, and then host Chapel Hill for senior night next Friday, another 7 o'clock start at Driller. Kilgore closes the regular season on Saturday, May 1, against non-district opponent Central Heights.

As for softball, the Lady Bulldogs likely need to win their final two games to have a shot at earning the fourth playoff spot.

Kilgore plays today at Bullard at 2 p.m., as mentioned, and then finishes the regular season at home against Chapel Hill on Tuesday night, when the seniors will be honored. JV will start at 4:30, with varsity to follow at 6.

Against Henderson on Tuesday night, a scoreless tie until the fourth inning, but then suddenly a 4-0 Henderson lead. Tyesha Mosley was the catalyst for the Lions — she had a triple and two singles, and an RBI. Charli Bird had three singles and an RBI, and Mikeya Washington had a double, a single and an RBI.

Kilgore got a hit each from senior Alyssa Whitington and Jaycee Villanueva, as well as from Jada Dennis and Cailey Brown. Bailey Hedges reached when she was hit by a pitch.

The Lady 'Dogs had six errors, and that hindered them, of course.

Malia Dean pitched for KHS, allowing seven runs, two of them earned, on 12 hits, and walked three; she struck out one.