BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
A five-run first inning and Mason Castleberry allowing just three hits over six innings put the Stephenville Yellow Jackets into the Class 4A playoffs in fine style as they defeated Glen Rose 6-2 Friday on the road.
Stephenville will be advancing to play Benbrook in a place and time expected to be decided over the weekend by coaches. The Yellow Jackets at 14-12-2 on the year will be District 8-4A’s third-place team after finishing league play with a 7-5 record.
The Yellow Jackets have been up and down this season with red-hot batting tapering off only to go blazing again as Stephenville did against Glen Rose. Stephenville smacked the ball all over the field to the tune of 11 hits and left several more runs out on the base paths which might have run-ruled the game.
Gage Graham and Derek Gifford got things rolling with singles in the first inning and the Jackets never looked back as Castleberry single and drove in scored Graham from second base. (A fun note here statistically — Castleberry held Glen Rose to two runs while he drove in two runs and scored one.)
Cade Dunavent held off the Tiger pitching and rode four balls to first base and with bases loaded it was go-for-it time and Kade Averhoff delivered a double scoring Gifford, Castleberry and Dunavent for a 4-0 lead. The Jackets weren’t done as Clay Krause’s single put Averhoff across the plate to make it a 5-0 contest.
A pair of singles by the Tigers in their half of the first inning led to a 5-1 score and then both teams’ defenses picked it up a notch. The Jackets had several other scoring opportunities but had to wait until the seventh inning before tacking on their final run when Castleberry’s double scored Kendal Storrs who has replaced Trevor Easter following a single.
Caleb Smith finished off the Tigers as he pitched the seventh inning throwing two strikeouts and allowing no hits. Castleberry’s three-hit gem included seven strikeouts and only one walk issued.
The Jackets’ playoff opponent Benbrook has similar statistics with a 10-14 record littered with big run games followed by a need for hits in other games. Stay tuned to The Flash Today for more details on the Jackets’ playoff series.