HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL / UIL PLAYOFFS

Kilgore, Overton move on

KHS meets old rival Gilmer; Mustangs face Kerens

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Kilgore’s next opponent in the playoffs will be a very familiar one.

The Bulldogs beat Mabank, 12-2, in a rout, then found out that their round three opposition in the UIL Class 4A playoffs will be none other than District 15-4A rival Gilmer, who edged Paris, 1-0, on Saturday.

And Overton? They’re moving on, too. The Mustangs held off scrappy Linden-Kildare over the weekend, and now they’ll face Kerens in round three of the Class 2A postseason.

Kilgore: Coach Charles Foshee’s Diamond ‘Dogs (24-5-2) will face Gilmer in a best-of-three-game series that’s set to begin Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Lindale.

Game two will be Friday night at 7, in Gary, and game three, if it’s necessary, will be back in Lindale at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Thunderstorms altered the Kilgore-Mabank series, and they’re in the forecast for later this week. But for now, at least, that’s how the KHS-Gilmer series is scheduled.

Kilgore is 4-0 in the playoffs, with sweeps of Center and Mabank, and has gotten strong performances from pitchers Javan Smitherman and Collin Pippen, each 2-0.

It was Pippen’s turn on Saturday in game two against Mabank, in Lindale. Hepitched a complete game, although it was shortened by the 10-run-rule.

The Bulldogs’ only senior allowed just the two runs on five hits, walked one and struck out five on just 57 pitches.

Kilgore blew the game open, really, in the first inning, getting six runs. The Bulldogs had 10 hits in the game.

Ren Reynolds went 2-for-4 and collected 3 RBI and scored a run. Pippen was 1-for-2, and walked twice. Smitherman was also 1-for-2 and scored twice, and Jerrick “Deuce” Ervin continued to produce, going 3-for-3 with two triples, and 2 RBI. He also scored twice. Ervin went 6-for-6 in the two games against Mabank.

Khalon Clayton was 2-for-2 and had 2 RBI, and Gus Witt went 1-for-3 with a double and 2 RBI.

In the first game, which ended up being played Friday in Mesqute at Copeland Field (due to storms the night before), Kilgore won going away, 7-0.

Smitherman struck out 13, including the side in the sixth and seventh innings.

Kilgore was equally impressive at the plate.

They got one run in the second inning. Biggs and Ervin each got hits, and then Khalon Clayton drew a walk to load the bases. Trea Clayton brought Biggs home on a sacrifice fly.

KHS scored four runs in the third inning.

Jayce McFarland singled to start the inning, and then Kilgore got a hit from Reynolds. Pippen, who had a single in the first inning, walked to load the bases, and then Smitherman got an RBI with a single to bring McFarland home.

Ervin came after Smitherman, and his hit scored both Reynolds and Pippen. Ervin finished with three hits and the 2 RBI.

Biggs and Ervin both had hits in the fifth inning, and then Trea Clayton got another RBI on another sac fly. Biggs would score on a wild pitch.

Overton: After holding off L-K in a series at Elysian Fields and Harleton, coach Chad Halcumb’s Mustangs are off to Jacksonville.

The Mustangs will play Kerens in the third-round best-of-three series. Game one is slated for Friday at 7 p.m. in Jacksonville. Game two is Saturday at noon, and game three, if they need it for the tiebreaker, will be 30 minutes after game two.

This is the longest playoff run for the Mustangs in a few years, since they made it to the (then-1A) state tournament.

Game one was in Elysian Fields, and Overton dealt L-K a 3-0 loss. Gavin Flanagan remained unbeaten on the mound, 11-0, and notched 10 strikeouts. He gave up just one hit. His teammates helped out – Luke Osburn had two hits and an RBI; Levi McCasland had an RBI and Brady Brown added a double.

L-K won game two, 5-1, on Saturday in Harleton, but in game three, Overton finished the series with a 2-0 win. The Mustangs (22-2) got a no-hitter from the combined efforts of Brown and McCasland. Overton scored both its runs in the fourth inning.

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