Day one of the Oil Belt Classic was a split decision – Kilgore won its first game of the event, and lost its second, to an old, old rival.
The Diamond ‘Dogs got ahold, as they say, of Hardin-Jefferson, 5-0, in the fifth game of the tournament, as Chase Hampton mowed H-J batters down: 15 strikeouts for the Texas Tech University signee.
The nightcap, though, saw the Bulldogs slip to Taylor, 8-4.
Taylor, an Austin-area school, dealt the Bulldogs a loss in the state tournament, in the early 1970s. The teams rarely meet, but Taylor is here for the OBC all weekend.
Friday’s games are Central Heights and New Diana at 9 a.m.; Liberty-Eylau facing New Diana at 11; L-E facing Harmony at 1 p.m.; Taylor meeting H-J at 3; Taylor facing Pine Tree at 5; and Kilgore on tonight at 7 p.m. against Pine Tree.
Those times, obviously, may change, due to the length of games; there is a time limit of an hour and 45 minutes per game.
On Saturday, it’s all according to how you did the first two days. The fourth-place teams from each pool will meet at 9 a.m.; the third-place teams will face each other at 11; the second-place teams meet at 1 p.m.; and the two teams that finished with the best records the first two days will play the OBC title game at 3.
In the win over H-J on Thursday, Hampton set the tone early and never let up, going six innings with the 15 strikeouts, no walks and just one hit.
He also had an RBI double and two singles of his own.
Spencer Thompson and Sam Witt each had an RBI for Kilgore, and Kaden Thrower had a couple of singles.
In the loss to Taylor in the final game Thursday, it was Donovan Adkins and Heath LaFleur on the mound. Adkins went 2 1/3 innings, allowing no earned runs, two walks and had two strikeouts. LaFleur threw 2 2/3 innings, also allowed no earned runs, with three strikeouts and three walks.
At the plate, Thompson had two doubles. Karson Gee had 2 RBI and Hunter Pipak had one.
In other games from Thursday in the OBC, H-J topped Pine Tree, 11-1; Harmony beat Central Heights, 5-4; and New Diana beat Harmony, 8-6.
The Bulldogs actually have an important game Tuesday, even during spring break week. They’ll visit Cumberland Academy on Tuesday in Tyler, and that opens District 16-4A play.
They’re competing in the Jasper tournament later next week.