The Stephenville Yellow Jackets smacked 13 hits and got a complete-game pitching performance from Easton Jones Thursday to win the first game of their Class 4A area baseball playoff series with Sweetwater in Abilene, 10-5.
The rest of the series — all at Abilene Christian University’s Crutcher Scott Field — was to be played after press time, with Game 2 set for Friday afternoon. If a third game was needed, it was to be played today (Saturday, May 13) at noon.
Stephenville improved to 22-7-2 with the win, and put the Yellow Jackets in a good position against a Sweetwater team that is in the playoffs despite having a losing season record (12-15).
“It was a big win for our program and helps to take a little bit of pressure off (Friday’s) game,” SHS head coach Justin Swenson said following Game 1. “Now we can relax and play our game.”
Jones worked all seven innings and allowed only two earned runs, struck out two and walked just one. Sweetwater committed four errors and Stephenville had three.
After building a 10-2 lead, including seven runs in the top of the third inning, the Jackets saw the Mustangs rally for three runs in the bottom of the seventh.
“We played six great innings of baseball before we took our foot off the pedal and let things get interesting in the seventh,” Swenson said. “But I’m proud of these young men for taking care of business and getting the win today.”
Derek Gifford was 2-for-4 with two runs batted in for Stephenville in Thursday’s game, and Cody Storrs was 3-for-5 with one RBI.
Seth Heupel, Caleb Gibbons, Trevor Easter and Jones all had two hits apiece for SHS.
The Yellow Jackets were fourth place in District 8-4A, while Sweetwater was the third-place team in District 5.
The winner of the series will move to the regional quarterfinals next week against either District 8-4A champion Godley or Graham, the third-place team out of District 6.