Dropping the first two games of the season might have been a very early wake-up call for coach Eugene Lafitte’s Kilgore baseball Bulldogs.
Kilgore hasn’t lost since.
The Diamond ‘Dogs blew through their own Oil Belt Classic tournament a couple of weekends ago, and last weekend, Kilgore went 4-0 in a tournament in Edgewood. The Bulldogs are now 9-2 on the season, and have won seven straight games.
KHS was to play at Athens on Tuesday, after the print deadline for this issue of the News Herald, and will host Silsbee today at 6 p.m. After that, the ‘Dogs are off until starting District 15-4A play at Chapel Hill next Friday, March 23. Kilgore is the defending district champion.
Kilgore 7, Edgewood 2 (Friday): The Bulldogs spanked the host team and Dallas Baptist signee Javan Smitherman just keeps looking awesome on the mound.
Smitherman, who had a 13-strikeout game in the Oil Belt two weeks ago against Hardin Jefferson, had another one Friday, sitting down 13 Edgewood players in this win. He got the complete-game win.
He got a big assist from Conner Martin, who had four hits, including a double, and 3 RBI. Smitherman had a double and an RBI. Harlee Biggs had two singles and an RBI. Ren Reynolds had a pair of singles and scored twice. Trea Clayton also had a hit.
Kilgore 11, Elkhart 3 (Saturday morning): The Bulldogs went off for 15 hits, their best offensive output of the season by far, against the Elks.
Every KHS batter got at least one hit. Biggs had a two-run home run in the fifth; he and catcher Khalon Clayton each went 2-for-3. Ren Reynolds and Smitherman each had three hits.
Chase Hampton got the start on the mound and allowed three runs on four hits, struck out six and had two walks. Braden Johnson came on in relief for two innings, allowing two walks and getting three strikeouts.
Kilgore 5, Farmersville 3 (Saturday afternoon): Biggs got double duty and did just fine, pitching five innings and allowing just one run on a couple of hits. He walked four and struck out five. At the plate, Biggs went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
Cole Thompson came onto the hill for wrap-up duty and gave up two hits in 1 2/3 innings. Kilgore finished in close fashion: Farmersville loaded the bases in the seventh, and Lafitte called on Hampton to get the final out. He struck out Farmersville’s Ian Campbell to strand the runners and win the game.
Smitherman went 2-for-4, both doubles, and had 2 RBI, and Gus Witt went 3-for-4 and scored two runs.