By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (March 19, 2016) — Freshman Derek Gifford lifted a walk-off sacrifice fly to right-center field in the bottom of the seventh inning at James T. Young Baseball Field Saturday afternoon, and Stephenville held off Burnkburnett, 6-5.
Stephenville had just squandered a 5-2 lead on an afternoon where the Yellow Jackets surrendered just one earned run and starter Easton Jones allowed none in four innings of work.
Burkburnett tied it up with an RBI single to right in the top of the seventh, its only earned run of the afternoon. The Bulldogs scored on throwing errors to lead 2-1 early on. The first Stephenville run came on a sacrifice fly by Brock Morrision after three singles loaded the bases in the bottom of the first.
Aaron Abila laid down a bunt that led to a 2-run throwing error against the Burkburnett catcher, giving Stephenville a 3-2 advantage in the second. It grew to 4-2 on a double steal in the same inning, and later to 5-2 on an RBI single by Sam Weber in the fourth.
Burkburnett answered with the next three runs before Stephenville scored to win it in the seventh.
Jones did not allow an earned run from the mound, but took a no decision despite leaving with a lead after four innings. Luke Bullard worked the fifth and sixth before Cole Harmon took over and earned the win in the seventh.
It’s the seventh victory in eight games for Stephenville, which had a six-game win streak snapped in a 10-0 loss at Waco Robinson Friday evening.
Stephenville visits Iowa Park at 7 p.m. Tuesday. It’s an interesting matchup with first-year Yellow Jacket head coach Justin Swenson traveling to oppose his brother, the head coach at Iowa Park, on the same field where Justin was his assistant last year.
The Swenson family has a long history of success with the Iowa Park baseball program.