HIGH SCHOOL bASEBALL

Diamond 'Dogs on a roll, win Edgewood tournament

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Old-style baseball tournaments – where there’s an actual bracket, eliminations and a champion – just aren’t done as much in the East Texas region as the round-robin, where the teams just play each other over a three-day period, or have a set schedule.

But the Edgewood Tournament last weekend was different. And it has a champion: the Kilgore High School Bulldogs.

Coach Charles Foshee and his Diamond ‘Dogs beat host Edgewood, 4-0, Saturday night. The Diamond ‘Dogs are off to the program’s best start in a decade. They’ve already passed the 10-win mark, in 14 games. They’re 10-3-2.

It seems like everything’s working for the Bulldogs right now: their bats are hot, the pitching has been solid, and there’s this – Kilgore has 60 stolen bases so far through 15 games this season. They had 18 in the two games last Saturday against Crandall and Edgewood.

In the tournament’s title game, Jerrick “Deuce” Ervin and Javon Smitherman put together a pitching effort that shut Edgewood down. Ervin started and went 3 1/3 innings, allowing two hits, but no runs. He had four strikeouts.

Smitherman came on and threw 2 2/3 innings, striking out five, and giving up two hits – but no runs, keeping Edgewood off the scoreboard.

At the plate, Kilgore scored one early, then three more in the third inning.

Smitherman was 2-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI and scored a run. Khalon Clayton was 2-for-4 with a single and a double, and an RBI.

Ervin went 1-for-3 and scored, and so did Collin Pippen. Elijah Williams scored for Kilgore, as well.

KISD is on spring break this week, but Kilgore is actually in action. The ‘Dogs were to host Athens on Tuesday. They’ll play at Pine Tree in Longview on Saturday – junior varsity starts at 11 a.m., varsity at 2 – and then next week, the District 15-4A slate begins. Kilgore will host Chapel Hill on Friday, March 24.

In other games from last weekend…

Kilgore 5, Caddo Mills 1: This first Friday game was actually the third game for KHS in the tournament, which started Thursday (those games were covered in the News Herald’s Saturday edition, and can also be found on kilgorenewsherald.com).

Connor Martin got the start for Kilgore on the mound, and went the entire game (six innings in this tournament). He allowed one run on seven hits, walked two and struck out two.

At the plate, Kilgore’s Jerrick “Deuce” Ervin went 1-for-3 and scored a run, and so did Collin Pippen. Khalon Clayton had an RBI. Ren Reynolds and Elijah Williams each scored a run. Javon Smitherman scored, and also had an RBI. Harlee Biggs went 2-for-3 and scored, and Trea Clayton went 1-for-2 with a triple, and an RBI.

Kilgore 2, Edgewood 2: A tie is a rarity in any sport, it seems, in 2017, but the Bulldogs and Edgewood played into the night before deciding it was time to call the contest a draw, with more games on tap on Saturday.

Edgewood scored both of its runs early, in the third inning, and had four hits in the game. Kilgore scored two runs in the sixth.

Reynolds pitched the complete game for KHS, allowing the two runs (one earned) on four hits, and five walks. He struck out four.

Khalon Clayton went 1-for-2; Reynolds helped himself on offense, going 2-for-3, including a double, and scored; Jace McFarland went 1-for-2, and Biggs got a hit, as well.

Kilgore 7, Crandall 3: Saturday’s first game for Kilgore was an early-afternoon matinee, and featured Braden Johnson getting his first varsity win. Johnson pitched five innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out two.

Biggs came on for an inning late, and allowed one hit and a walk, but struck out two.

Khalon Clayton was 2-for-2 with a single and a double, and also scored twice and recorded 2 RBI. Ervin went 1-for-3 with a double, 2 RBI and scored twice. Pippen had an RBI and scored. Smitherman and Biggs each went 1-for-3 – Biggs’ hit was a double, and Smitherman added an RBI.

Trea Clayton and Williams also each scored a run.

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