By BRAD KEITH
BROCK (May 19, 2017) — The deepest playoff run of the last three years by Stephenville ended Friday when No. 7 Godley completed a sweep of a Region I-4A quarterfinal series.
A complete-game one-hitter by Texas verbal pledge Chase Lummus was backed up by three hits and five RBI from cleanup hitter Will Buckholtz as the Wildcats stacked an 8-1 game two victory on top of a 1-0 win to begin the best-of-three series on Thursday.
Godley (26-3-1) has won 12 straight and 23 of its last 24, shutting down a Stephenville (23-9-2) lineup that scored 18 runs in its area-round sweep of Sweetwater a week prior.
All three Buckholtz hits were line drives to center field, with two-run singles in the first and second innings giving the Wildcats an insurmountable lead the way Lummus was dealing from the hill.
Godley was up 4-0 by the middle of he second inning and has not surrendered more than four runs in now 27 straight games.
Stephenville brought a six-game win streak into the series but couldn’t get the bats going against a Godley pitching staff that has allowed only seven runs in six playoff wins. The Yellow Jackets scored only five runs in four losses to the 8-4A champion Wildcats, who beat them 5-3 and 5-1 in district games. Alvarado also reached the regional quarterfinals, giving 8-4A three of the final eight teams standing in the region.
Lummus was perfect until the sixth inning when Clay Krause doubled down the line in right to set up the only Stephenville run of the series. Forced to go to a shorter stretch motion with a runner on base, Lummus’ control wasn’t the same and Krause took third on a wild pitch.
Yellow Jacket leading hitter Cody Storrs laid down a bunt and a throwing error wide of he bag at first allowed Krause to score an unearned run.
Godley benefited from errors, too, with Stephenville committing four of them. The first was the biggest, keeping the first inning alive so Buckholtz could put the Wildcats on top to stay. They scored five unearned runs in game two after the only run in game one scored on a wild pitch. It was reminiscent of their 8-4A meeting in Stephenville when Godley scored four unearned runs in a two-run victory.
Stephenville pitcher Easton Jones dominated Kennedale with 12 strikeouts and limited Sweetwater during a complete game in his prior playoff starts, but errors meant extra at bats, and Godley cashed in on those opportunities.
Stephenville is 7-4 in the postseason under second-year head coach Justin Swenson, who has led them to wins in three of five playoff series. He’ll have the bulk of this team, including Jones and the top four hitters by average, returning in 2018.
The Wildcats face Midland Greenwood or Pampa in the Region I-4A semifinals next week. Those teams played at New Mexico Military Institute Friday, having to to travel west to avoid inclement weather.
Stephenville and Godley played musical start times to avoid weather. Game one was moved from 5 to 3 and finally to 4 p.m. Thursday, and game two changed from 7:30 to 4 and ultimately to 6 p.m. on Friday.