Flash Staff Report
(March 11, 2018) — Stephenville found during its stay in Wimberley for its final pre-district tournament of the season that the going got tough before the tough got going.
The play on the old phrase certainly applied to Friday and Saturday’s action, with Friday being when the going got tough as Stephenville saw its losing streak extend from two games to four in a 4-3 affair with Llano and a 9-0 beating by Fredricksburg.
Like all good things, all bad things must come to an end to, and so the losing streak ended when the tough got going Saturday. The Yellow Jackets tied 2-2 with host Wimberley. Yes, there are ties in baseball, at last in tournament games governed by a drop-dead time limit.
Stephenville then finished its three-day, five-game trip with a 10-7 win over Burnet.
The Yellow Jackets (5-6-1) open district play in their first home appearance since the Blue-Gold scrimmage back on February 16. The official home opener is also the District 8-4A opener as Stephenville welcomes Venus to James T. Young Field for a 7 p.m. start.
Stephenville 10, Burnet 7
Head coach Justin Swenson some of the offensive momentum carries over from the slugfest with Burnet. His club generated 11 hits including a season-best six for extra bases.
Kade Averhoff was 2-for-3 with a double and drove in three runs. Derek Gifford was 2-for-3 with a double and a10 k, triple to drive in a run, and Cade Dunavant had the other triple, making the most of his only hit by bringing in two runs.
Mason Castleberry and Zane Smith ripped the remaining doubles for Stephenville. Castleberry was 2-for-2 and drove inn two runs, while Smith brought in one.
Stephenville jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fist, but Burnet answered with five runs in the top of the second. Starting pitcher Gabe Moore also allowed single runs in the third and fourth innings, but he picked up plenty of furn support as the Jackets took the lead for good with four more runs in the bottom of the third.
Burnet shaved its deficit to 8-6 in the top of the fourth, but Stephenville scored single runs in the fifth and sixth to keep the opponent at arm’s length. Moore got the win, but it was Gifford who was most impressive in 2.1 innings of relief. He struck out three and didn’t allow a hit or issue a walk, Zane Smith closed it out in the top of the seventh.
Stephenville 2, Wimberley 2
Moore drove in both Stephenville runs on a two-run single in the top of the third. The Yellow Jackets had six hits, all singles.
Wimberley scattered nine hits, seven of them singles and scored single runs in the second and third off Castleberry who went 5 innings with two runs on five hits, six strikeouts and two walks. Caleb Smith worked his way out of a couple jams, allowing four hits but no runs over the final two inning
xFredericksburg 9, Stephenville 0
The Yellow Jackets had just four baserunners and three of them were named Gage Graham. The junior leadoff batter was 2-for-2 with a walk. The only other baserunner in the shoutout loss was Nolan Carroll, who got on with a walk.
Roger Segner tossed a one-hit shutout over four innings and for Fredericksburg and Conner Kennedy completed the shutout by working around the second Graham single hit in the fifth.
Fredericksburg leadoff batter TJ Tomlinson was 3-for-4 with a triple and scored two runs. Will Flnnery and Daylono Nebgen each drove in two.
Llano 4, Stephenville 3
Llano scored a run in each of the first four innings and made it stand up in an evenly-matched affair. Graham and Clay Krause each had triples and Mason Castleberry an RBI double. Egiht Stephenville batters had one hit each.
Smith pithed well enough to get a win but did not get any immediate He struck out two and yielded three hits buth o runs in three innings of relief. Smith struck out three.
Averhoff yielded three earned runs – four total – on five hits. He battled, striking ou three while issuing three walks.