Kilgore High School baseball played the first game of its playoff series against Wills Point Friday night and, through a quirk of the print schedule, it’s not here in the News Herald’s sports section.
That’s because the game concluded after the early-evening print deadline for this paper. But a story on the game between Kilgore and Wills Point can be found right now online at kilgorenewsherald.com.
The Bulldogs, who won the District 16-4A championship for a third straight year, knocked off Liberty-Eylau in the first round of the UIL Class 4A playoffs last weekend, and are in the second round against Wills Point now, a best-of-three-game series being played in its entirety at Emory-Rains.
Game two is today at 1 p.m., and if a game three is necessary, it’ll start 30 minutes after the conclusion of game two. And a wrap-up of the series will also be on kilgorenewsherald.com tonight, weather-permitting.
Coach Eugene Lafitte’s Diamond ‘Dogs are 24-5 on the season. Wills Point is a 16-win team that eliminated Caddo Mills in the first round.
The Kilgore-Wills Point winner moves on to round three to face either Pleasant Grove or Brownsboro. Those two were also concluding their playoff series today.
Kilgore has been tough to beat the last two postseasons, and should be again this year. They have a host of good pitchers, and three who get the most playing time: Texas Tech commit Chase Hampton, Brayden Johnson and Gus Witt.
Hampton has thrown 57 1/3 innings for the ‘Dogs this year, and started 10 games. He’s got a 9-1 record, a 1.46 earned-run average, and has allowed only 26 hits and 20 walks all season. He also has 122 strikeouts.
Johnson has thrown in 36 1/3 innings, started five games and has a 5-0 record. He’s struck out 37, allowed just 27 hits and 24 walks, and has a 2.5 ERA. Witt has a 1.556 ERA, and has 28 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched. He’s given up 32 hits and just nine walks all season.
Kilgore has a team ERA of just 1.24.