Kilgore qualified for the University Interscholastic League's Class 4A state baseball tournament back on Thursday night, then had to play the waiting game to see who they'd face in the 4A semifinals next Wednesday in Austin.

It's Sweeny.

Kilgore (32-7) will face upset-minded Sweeny (32-9) on Wednesday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field at the University of Texas in Austin, a 1 p.m. start to the day's first semifinal. 

The season is over for the KHS-Sweeny loser; the winner will play for the 4A state championship game the following day, on Thursday, June 6, at 6:30 p.m.

Argyle, the defending state champion who ended Kilgore's season a year ago, will take on La Vernia in the other semifinal, at 4 p.m.

Kilgore will be the home team in the game against Sweeny, and will be in the dugout along the first base line.

It's well-documented, but this is Kilgore's first appearance in the UIL state baseball tournament since the Bulldogs made back-to-back trips back in 1971 and 1972.

Kilgore-Sweeny will be broadcast locally on the radio by the Ragin' Red Broadcasting team that normally covers football every Friday night in the fall, including Don Hedrick and Doug Smith. Hedrick and his brothers, Dale and David, were on the 1971-72 teams.

If you're in Kilgore, you can hear the broadcast on KDOK 105.3-FM, and also on 1240-AM. In Henderson, there's 107.9-FM, and in Longview, 101.9-FM.

Also, of course, hear it online at kdokradio.com, and on Kilgore Cable, hear it on the Kilgore College access channel.

All tickets for the games are general admission, meaning student tickets are $7 each, and adult tickets are $12 each. All-tournament passes are $35, although the other UIL classifications play their tournaments at Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

Parking passes for $5 each can be purchased for lots 109, 113, 114, and 121, which is the new gravel lot located off 20th Street.

Disch-Falk is located at 1300 E. Martin Luther King Boulevard in Austin, at the corner of MLK and Comal Street.

The games will also be broadcast live online at nfhsnetwork.com/championships/spring/state/Texas?sport=baseball.com, for a subscription price. There are different levels; click on the "subscribe" link on the left side of the page.

Kilgore is coached by Eugene Lafitte, assisted by Joey Pippen, Jason Gunn and Josh Riley. The Diamond 'Dogs got within a round of the state tournament last year, running into Argyle, as mentioned, in the regional finals.

This year, Kilgore beat Liberty-Eylau, Wills Point, Pleasant Grove, Melissa, and Benbrook, sweeping L-E, WP, and most recently, Benbrook, back on Thursday night at Dallas Baptist University.

Lafitte is in his second year as head coach.

Kilgore has set the single-season record for wins in program history in each of the last three seasons. And the Bulldogs have also won their district championship for three years running.

Sweeny and Kilgore met a few seasons ago in football, in a regular-season game at Crockett. Sweeny beat Scarborough, Bridge City, Columbia, Carthage, and Robison. Sweeny is the Region III champion.

Kilgore's baseball booster club has decided to take a bus to the game on Wednesday. It will leave at 6 a.m. from Driller Park. Anyone who's interested should call or text Teresa at (903) 330-1849.

There will also be a send-off for the team on Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. at Driller Park, and the baseball boosters want to encourage everyone who's free and in town to come out and cheer the Bulldogs on, as they leave for Austin.

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