Both the Kilgore Bulldogs and Linden-Kildare Tigers advanced to the state baseball tournament last week. Kilgore bowed out in the semifinals, while LK advanced to the title game before losing.
Following stellar seasons on the diamond, the two schools landed spots on the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association first team all state squad. The were two of 11 East Texans to be honored on the first, second or third team by a statewide vote of high school baseball coaches.
Chase Hampton, committed to Texas Tech, was a catalyst on the bump for the Kilgore Bulldogs, who finished the season 32-8 and and advanced to the Class 4A semifinals before dropping a 5-1 decision to Sweeney. It was Kilgore’s first venture to Austin in 47 years and the junior right-hander was a key contributor to that success.
Nic Kunze helped LK’s bid to make it back to state for the first time in nearly 35 years. Kunze, just a junior, was selected first team at first base in Class 2A by the THSBCA. He helped the Tigers to a 21-10 record. LK shutout Valley Mills 5-0 in the 2A semifinals before falling 7-1 to Big Sandy Dallardsville in the finals at Dell Diamond in Round Rock.
Four locals landed second team accolades. Carthage senior shortstop Dylan Leach was tabbed in Class 4A, while senior Harmony catcher Easton Blackstone and White Oak sophomore second sacker Dylan Carrell did same in Class 3A. Sophomore Hawkins hurler Zachery Conde was so honored with spot in Class 2A.
Hallsville managed to put a pair on the Class 5A third team with junior shortstop Easton Loyd and senior outfielder Brayden Johnson.
White Oak took two spots on third team in Class 3A as junior pitcher Micah Gibson and senior shortstop Jacob Young were cited. Harmony junior Gage Goddard also garnered recognition at pitcher.
There were no local selections in Class 6A.