May

08

Tenacious Yellowjackets fall in playoff series

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : May 8, 2013

Monitor Photo/Sam Epps Blake Watkins makes the play to get a Quitman Bulldog baserunner out at first base. The Yellowjackets defeated the Bulldogs 6-5 in game two of the first playoff series Saturday.

Monitor Photo/Sam Epps
Blake Watkins makes the play to get a Quitman Bulldog baserunner out at first base. The Yellowjackets defeated the Bulldogs 6-5 in game two of the first playoff series Saturday.

By Sam Epps
Sports Editor

KEMP–The Kemp Yellowjackets’ baseball season came to an end Saturday after battling the Quitman Bulldogs in round one of the playoffs.
The three-game series began in Quitman, and saw the Bulldogs cruise to a 12-0 win. The series then moved to Kemp for game two and three.
Now in a must-win situation to stay alive, Kemp fought hard and gained a 6-5 win, despite being down 2-1 after the first inning, and 3-2 after the second.
Kemp tied the game at 3-3 in the fourth inning, but Quitman regained the lead, 4-3, in the fifth inning.
Quitman added a run in the top of the seventh inning to take a 5-3 lead.
It was do-or-die for the Yellowjackets, and they made the most of it and scrambled for three runs to win the game 6-5.
Kemp’s Corey Watkins picked up the win for the Yellowjackets after pitching a complete game and striking out 12 Quitman batters.
With the series tied at one game each, the third game began shortly after game two Saturday.
Quitman scored first, but Kemp picked up where they left off in game two and scored three runs to take a 3-1 lead after the first inning.
After two scoreless innings, Quitman rattled off four runs in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, then scored one run in each of the final two innings of play.
Meanwhile, the Bulldog defense, powered by strong and effective pitching, kept Kemp scoreless to bring home the win.
“Quitman had two of the best pitchers we had seen all year, and we handled ourselves well against them,” Yellowjacket head coach Brandon Hankins said.
“We battled hard Saturday, obviously it didn’t turn out the way we wanted it,” Hankins commented. “I was extremely proud on how we bounced back from Friday night. The win on Saturday was as exciting of a game that I have been a part of, and I think it’s a great teaching tool and great experience for our kids and the program.”
With the success the Yellowjacket baseball team has seen the past two years, Hankins knows it is time to move look forward to building on the improvements next year.
“I am extremely proud of this team and the work they put in throughout the year. This team fought through adversity better than any group I have ever had,” Hankins said.
“This team built off what we started building last year. Last year’s group had a lot to do with the success of this year; setting expectations, changing the culture, learning to play in big, meaningful ball games and learning what it takes to work hard everyday.
“So this year’s squad and last year’s squad have hopefully started something here in Kemp. I am excited for what next year has in store because we have a chance to be really good; but I am also sad to see our seniors go, and not have a chance to coach those boys again.
“The seniors were great this year and I couldn’t ask for more. We will start summer ball soon and hope to carry on from the success this year to next year,” Hankins added.

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