Apr. 10—Right now, Bullard doesn’t just have Kilgore’s number — the Panthers have everyone’s number in District 16-4A.
Bullard kept their record unblemished Friday amidst stormy weather here at Driller Park, holding Kilgore’s Diamond ‘Dogs to one hit in a 5-1 win. Very uncharacteristically of Kilgore, the Bulldogs had nine errors.
The loss drops Kilgore to 14-6 on the season, 5-3 in 16-4A play. Bullard is unbeaten, and the rest of the district schedule looks to be quite a battle between Kilgore, Spring Hill and Lindale, jockeying for playoff position.
The main reason for Bullard’s success this year? Its pitching, led by Arkansas commit Hagen Smith, who again frustrated Kilgore Friday night.
Smith pitched a complete-game seven-inning performance, striking out 18 batters and allowing just one earned run on one hit (by Kilgore’s Chris Ervin) and two walks. He threw 98 pitches.
Kilgore’s Heath LaFleur started on the mound and didn’t pitch poorly at all, but the errors, and Smith’s performance on the mound, were just too much for KHS to overcome. LaFleur, on 86 pitches in 5 2/3 innings, allowed four runs — none of them earned — on six hits, and walked just two. He struck out five.
Chase Lewis pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for the Bulldogs, allowing one run on one hit and a walk.
Kilgore gave up a run in the top of the first, and then tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Donovan Adkins drew a lead-off walk, and stole second base. Ervin’s hit, a single to left, scored Adkins, tying things up at 1-all.
The Panthers scattered the other four runs over the remaining six innings.
The Bulldogs will put this one behind them quickly — they have no choice. There’s a playoff slot for them, as long as they finish the season strong.
Kilgore has six games left in the regular season, according to its schedule, with five of them district games. The Bulldogs visit Henderson on Tuesday (junior varsity at 4:30, varsity at 7), and then host Spring Hill next Friday. They make a trip to Lindale on Tuesday, April 20, host Chapel Hill on Friday night, April 23 (senior night), and then close the season with a game against Central Heights on May 1 that could very well be a playoff warm-up game.
This note: at Kilgore’s next home game, next Friday against Spring Hill, the KHS Diamond ‘Dogs Booster Club plans to honor KHS baseball alumni. Between innings, former Bulldogs baseball players from each decade will be honored. Names won’t necessarily be called or formal introductions; alumni will simply be asked to stand.