Kemp tops Eustace despite gaining one hit

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : March 30, 2014

Monitor Photo/Summer Simpson Eustace catcher DJ Hocutt (standing) gestures as Kemp’s Calbert Hukill slides home to score a run March 25 in Kemp.

Monitor Photo/Summer Simpson
Eustace catcher DJ Hocutt (standing) gestures as Kemp’s Calbert Hukill slides home to score a run March 25 in Kemp.

By Erik Walsh
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–The Kemp Yellowjackets and Eustace Bulldogs baseball teams took to the diamond March 25 and continued their cross-lake rivalry. Kemp made the most out of Eustace mistakes, besting the Bulldogs 4-2 in Kemp despite gaining only one hit.
Kemp got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. Calbert Hukill led off and reached first base on an Eustace error. After Eustace pitcher Forrest Lane struck out Kemp’s Braxton Allison, Corey Watkins drew a walk, advancing Hukill to second. Jesse Hall was up next for Kemp. Lane tossed another strikeout, but not before Hukill and Watkins succeeded in a double steal of third and second bases. Lane went on to strike out the side, but Hukill managed to score from third base before the inning expired to make it 1-0 Kemp.
Eustace would try to answer back in the top of the second inning when DJ Hocutt walked with one out. Gannon Kirkhart singled to leftfield to move Hocutt to second base. The Bulldogs would be unable to get the runners home and left them stranded on the base paths, ending the inning.
Lane returned to the mound in the bottom of the second for Eustace with dominance, striking out the side again and allowing one walk.
Fresh off the quick inning, the Bulldogs would score two runs in the top of the third. Ryan Brown led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Lane came to the plate next and struck out. Rusty Rogers drew a walk to put runners on first and second with only one out. A passed ball would move the runners up to second and third, then a wild pitch by Hukill brought Brown into home plate, making the score 1-1. Rogers advanced to third on the play. Next at bat would bring Rogers home to score on a fielders choice. Hukill nailed down the rest of the inning by throwing two strikeouts and ending the Eustace threat.
Lane returned to the mound in the bottom of the third and struck out one, allowed one walk and gained the other two outs of the inning by a fly ball to the outfield and an infield ground out.
Eustace would again threaten, but not score in the top of the fourth inning after Kemp made a pitching change and put Allison on the mound. Chad Farnsworth led off the inning with a strong single to centerfield. Brown put Farnsworth in scoring position by drawing a walk during the next at bat. Allison clamped down after the first two batters got on base and struck out Lane and Rogers. Allison ended the inning by forcing a ground ball. Eustace still led 2-1.
Lane got himself into – and out – of trouble in the bottom of the fourth by walking the first three Kemp batters of the inning. Now faced with the bases loaded and no outs, Eustace threw out Allison attempting to steal home. The other base runners advanced to second and third in the failed attempt. Dalton Ivey, now at third base, got caught trying to get too big of a lead at third base and was picked off with a quick throw to the bag. Lane finished off the inning with a strikeout to get out of the jam, his seventh of the day.
After Eustace was unable to score any runs in the top of the fifth, Kemp had its best inning of the game in the bottom of the frame. Lane got the inning going with another strike out, but then Eustace would go on to score three runs on only one hit. Hukill got the rally going by getting hit by a pitch and taking first base. Hukill stole second base, then advanced to third on a passed ball. Allison then walked to put runners on the corners with one out. Another passed ball allowed Hukill to score from third base, making the score 2-2. Watkins got the only Kemp hit of the inning (and game) when he drilled a single down the third base line, with Allison racing around the base paths to third on the play. Eustace struggled to take care of the baseball on play and a fielding error allowed Allison to score and moved Watkins all the way to third base. The score stood at 3-2 Kemp. Jesse Hall attempted a sacrifice play to score Watkins, but Lane made a fielding error and Watkins went home, bringing the score to 4-2. Eustace finally shut down the Kemp rally with a ground out and another strikeout by Lane, but the damage had already been done.
Allison would come to the mound in the top of the sixth inning and nail down two strikeouts for Kemp.
Kemp was also unable to get any more runs on the board to pad its lead in the bottom of the frame.
Eustace’s last chance came in the top of the seventh. Allison got the three Bulldog batters in order, forcing a ground out, then striking out Chance Scott and Shane Braddy to earn the Yellowjackets a 4-2 victory.
Despite the loss, Lane pitched well for Eustace. He earned 10 strikeouts and allowed no earned runs. Lane threw eight walks.
Brown had two hits for the Bulldogs, and Farnsworth, Braddy, Lane and Scott had one each.
Hukill and Allison shared pitching duties for Kemp. Hukill allowed five hits in three innings of work, with four walks, three strikeouts and two earned runs against him. Allison, pitching in relief, threw four innings, allowed no runs on only one Eustace hit and struck out eight to seal the Kemp victory.
Hukill scored two runs for Kemp, while Watkins got the lone hit and drew two walks.
Kemp’s next game isFriday April 4 at home against Palmer. Game time is 7 p.m. Eustace returns to the to baseball diamond April 4 at home against Scurry-Rosser.