TSWA honors Kilgore players

Kilgore’s Gus Witt (above) rounds third base in a playoff game in June. Witt and teammate Chase Hampton were named to the Texas Sports Writers Association’s Class 4A all-state first team; Kilgore’s Khalon Clayton was named to the 4A second-team, and Jerrick Ervin, honorable mention. (File photo by MITCH LUCAS)

Kilgore reached the semifinals in the UIL Class 4A’s race for the state baseball championship in 2019, and awards are still coming in.

The Texas Sports Writers Association – sports writers who actually cover the games throughout the season – has announced its annual Class 4A All-State Team, based on nominations from coaches and the media, themselves. And Kilgore is represented.

The Diamond ‘Dogs placed two players – pitcher Chase Hampton and shortstop Gus Witt – on the TSWA’s 4A first-team. Another recently-graduated senior, catcher Khalon Clayton, was named 4A second-team, and another, outfielder Jerrick “Deuce” Ervin, was named honorable mention.

Hampton is a junior and will return for his senior season in 2020. He went 12-3 this season with a 1.55 ERA, struck out 158 and walked just 34 batters in 85 1/3 innings. At the plate, he batted .276 and had 32 RBI. Hampton is a verbal commitment to Texas Tech University.

Witt batted .477 and had three home runs, 10 doubles, four triples, and 46 RBI in 2019. He also scored 50 runs. Witt graduated in May and is headed to continue his baseball career at Weatherford College.

Clayton also graduated in May and will play at Northeast Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant. The catcher batted .398 and had 11 doubles, two triples, a home run and had 41 RBI. Ervin moves on to Eastfield College. He batted .330 and had six doubles, two triples, and 17 RBI. He also had 16 stolen bases.

Coach Eugene Lafitte’s Diamond ‘Dogs slipped to Sweeny in the state semifinals.

The 4A player of the year honors went to Argyle pitcher and outfielder Dillon Carter – Argyle won the 4A state championship this season – and to Canton pitcher and shortstop Johnnie Krawietz.

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