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Bulldogs grab 13-3A top seed with sweep
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Eustace’s Bulldogs swept a double-header Tuesday to grab the District 13-3A first-place playoff berth.
The Bulldogs, Kaufman Lions and Kemp Yellowjackets all tied for the district baseball championship, forcing Tuesday’s tournament at Mabank High School to determine playoff seeding.
Now 19-9 on the season, Eustace knocked off Kaufman 5-2 in the first game, leaving the Lions as the district’s third seed, and followed that with a 15-7 win over an error-prone ’Jacket squad in the nightcap.
Both Kaufman and Kemp will face District 14-3A teams in best two-of-three series in the bidistrict round of the playoffs Friday and Saturday, May 2-3, while Eustace will enjoy a first-round bye.
Kemp will face Brownsboro in Corsicana, with the opening game set for 6 p.m. Friday, and the second game set at 1 p.m. Saturday, with a third game (if necessary) immediately following.
Kaufman will face Van at Rockwall Heath Friday and Saturday.
In the afternoon contest Tuesday, Bulldog Braden Strickland limited the Lions to just one hit over six innings, while Lion Ethan Martin gave up five hits to the Bulldogs.
Lucas Cope came in to pitch the seventh inning, and got the Lions to tap into a near double-play while recording a save.
Kaufman third baseman Zach Mayo led the Lions with a double, while Bulldog speedster Cameron Coffey nailed a triple during the contest.
Tuesday’s playoff was the fifth contest between the Lions and Bulldogs this season, with Eustace holding a slim 3-2 advantage.
“There’s not much scouting left to do,” Eustace coach Chris Powers admitted with a grin.
In the nightcap, the ’Jackets took an early 1-0 lead before the Bulldogs put together a four-run second inning.
Eustace strung together four straight hits, knocking Kemp starter Dudley Chambers off the mound, as first baseman Josh Carr moved over to pitch.
Coffey (a regional qualifier in both the 100 and 300 hurdles) easily scored on a passed ball to give the Bulldogs a 5-1 lead.
The ’Jackets came right back, with both Mikie Scruggs and Zach Allison notching back-to-back slide-in doubles off Cope. Allison scored on a sacrifice fly by Chambers.
Josh Carr later scored on a Bulldog error (the only one of the game) to pull the ’Jackets within a run at 5-4.
In the fourth, Cope’s RBI single made it 6-4, and Scruggs came in to pitch for the ’Jackets.
An error on a pick-off throw to first allowed Bulldog shortstop Chris Compton to motor all the way to third, and he later scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Compton to give Eustace a 7-4 lead.
Strickland’s RBI double made it 8-4, but Strickland was tagged out sliding into third to end the top of the fourth inning.
Neither team threatened in the fifth inning, but in the sixth, another pick-off error allowed Bulldog second baseman Josh Watson to motor around to third base.
Watson later scored on a sacrifice fly by Cope to give the Bulldogs a 9-4 lead.
Eustace put the contest away with a six-run outburst in the top of the seventh inning, taking advantage of back-to-back grounders by Strickland and Coffey, along with the fourth Kemp error, to load the bases with one out.
Scruggs nailed Rusty Hart with a pitch to force in Strickland, and Watson then cleared the bases with a slide-in triple to give the Bulldogs a 13-4 lead.
Watson later scored on a passed ball, and the Bulldogs went into the bottom of the seventh with a 15-4 lead.
The ’Jackets were able to score three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but they were unable to dig out of the 11-run hole.
Eustace wound up with 14 hits off Chambers (who took the loss), Carr and Scruggs, while Cope gave up seven hits in going the distance.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Eustace shortstop Chris Compton (right) slides into third base just ahead of
the cutoff throw to Kemp Yellowjacket third baseman Nick Sallings during
the fourth inning of Eustace’s 15-7 win over Kemp in the second game of a
District 13-3A playoff double-header Tuesday in Mabank. Compton moved from
first to third on a Kemp pick-off error, and later scored on a sacrifice fly by
Ryan Compton to give the Bulldogs a 7-4 lead.

Lady Panthers going to state
Monitor Staff Reports
POTTSBORO–Led by senior Macey Thomas, the Mabank Lady Panther girls golf team is headed for the state tournament, following a second-place finish at the Region II tournament in Pottsboro Tuesday.
Thomas carded rounds of 88 and 95 for a tournament total of 183, good for eighth overall, as the Lady Panthers finished with a tournament score of 767, or 39 strokes behind tournament winner Frisco-Wakeland and 15 strokes ahead of third-place Spring Hill.
Frisco-Wakeland had three of the top 15 golfers, led by Taylor Newlin (80/76-156, third overall) and Courtney Bostwick (90/88-178, or seventh overall).
Mabank senior Lauren Slaton had rounds of 99 and 95 to finish at 194, or 16th overall.
Katie Hibbs improved her second-round total by 10 strokes to finish at 196 (17th overall), while Whitney Evans improved by 11 strokes to finish at 201, tied for 20th overall.
Freshman Caitlyn Jones finished at 206, or 28th overall.
“Individually, it was an outstanding tournament for Macey,” Lady Panther coach Debbie Ewing said later.
“I didn’t feel it was one of the best tournaments for everyone, but for Macey, it was,” she added.
Mabank’s girls advance to the state tournament, to be held at Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin Thursday and Friday, May 8-9.
On the boys side, Mabank’s Panthers, led by Chris Harper’s 159 (tied for 19th) finished in a tie for eighth place with Kennedale at 671, or 65 strokes behind first-place Spring Hill.
Kemp’s Chase Traughber, playing as a medalist, had rounds of 79 and 78 to finish at 157, tied for 14th overall out of more than 100 golfers.
Joining Harper were Jason Delong (84/78-162, tied for 24th), Clayton Cary (86/88-174, tied for 58th), Taylor Brown (88/88-176, tied for 62nd) and Michael Blackburn (91/88-179, tied for 70th).
Canton’s girls team, led by Jordan Bozeman (86/77-163, fourth overall) finished in fifth place at 805.
Kaufman’s Chantry McMahan, who carded rounds of 78 and 73 to finish at 151, second overall, will go to state as a medalist. The Lady Lions team finished eighth overall at 877.
Athens’ girls finished 14th at 947, led by Ashley Darby (110/114-224, tied for 45th).
Crandall’s boys finished sixth overall at 669, led by Taylor Johnson (81/83-164, tied for 32nd), while Canton’s boys, led by Martin Allen (87/78-165, tied for 38th) finished 11th overall at 678.

Courtesy Photo/Cris Cary
Mabank High School senior Macey Thomas chips
onto the green during the Region II Class 3A golf
tournament in Pottsboro.

Courtesy Photo/Cris Cary
Kemp High School senior Chase Traughber chips
 in at the regional tournament. Traughber finished
tied for 14th overall.


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