High school baseball season has started, and in spite of the rain, the Kilgore Bulldogs have managed to play two close games on the road.
But everybody who follows baseball here knows the season hasn’t really started until the Oil Belt Classic tournament is here. And it’s here tomorrow.
Barring any rescheduling due to rain or field conditions, the Bulldogs will host the OBC on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There will also be games at both Henderson and Longview, but all of Kilgore’s games will be played here at Driller Park.
Check kilgorenewsherald.com Thursday morning to ensure times are the same.
Games begin Thursday morning at 9:30 at Driller with New Diana taking on Whitehouse. Kilgore plays Pollock Central at 11:45 a.m.
Whitehouse and La Grange play at 2 p.m., Elkhart and Harmony meet at 4:15, and Kilgore comes back for the nightcap to take on La Grange at 6:30.
On Friday, Kilgore doesn’t play until 4:15, a matchup against Glenbrook. But games again start at 9:30: Rusk meets Chapel Hill then. Glenbrook faces Harmony at 11:45 and Pine Tree meets Central Heights at 2. Kilgore-Glenbrook is at 4:15, as stated, and La Grange plays Hardin-Jefferson at 6:30.
On Saturday, Elkhart faces Glenbrook at 9:30; Harmony plays Liberty-Eylau at 11:45; La Grange meets Central Heights at 2; and Kilgore plays Harmony at 4:15.
Games start at 9:30 at both Longview and Henderson as well, on all three days.
As for Kilgore so far, the rain has made things on-again, off-again. Kilgore opened the 2018 season with a 3-1 loss at Liberty-Eylau last Tuesday, a game moved up in the day to avoid storms. The Bulldogs had their tournament in Harmony wash out over the weekend, but scheduled and played a game at Whitehouse on Monday, another close 9-8 loss.
Kilgore collected 10 hits: Connor Martin had three. Martin went 3-for-5 and had 2 RBI, and also scored a run. Chase Hampton went 2-for-4. Ren Reynolds went 1-for-6, but scored three times and had 2 RBI. Jayce McFarland, Khalon Clayton, Harlee Biggs and Cole Thompson each had a hit; Clayton and Biggs each had an RBI. Gus Witt also had an RBI. McKinnon White, Trea Clayton and Elijah Williams each scored a run for the Diamond ‘Dogs (0-2).
Hampton pitched six innings, throwing 82 pitches, 60 percent of them strikes. He allowed just one hit, and no runs. He struck out seven, and walked just three.
Javan Smitherman pitched 1 2/3 innings. He threw 30 pitches, gave up two hits and one earned run. He struck out two. Biggs threw 1 1/3. He also allowed two hits and a run, unearned, and struck out one and walked one. Martin pitched one third of an inning. He allowed three runs, earned, and two hits. He struck out one and walked one.