Jackets open playoffs Thursday with Burkburnett

By Jay Hinton
Stephenville Empire-Tribune

STEPHENVILLE — The District 6-4A champion Stephenville Yellow Jackets will open the Class 4A playoffs Thursday night when they host Burkburnett (14-8, 5-5) - the No. 4 team in District 5-4A.

Game 2 will be Friday at 7 p.m. at Burkburnett, and if necessary, Game 3 will be at 5 p.m. Saturday at Bowie High School.

The Yellow Jackets (17-8-1), who lost 6-0 to Brownwood on Friday night to close out the regular season, ran way with the district crown by finishing 9-3 overall, while the final three playoff spots were up in the air going into Friday’s final day.

Glen Rose (12-15) beat Gatesville (9-17), 5-3, and finished second with a 6-6 mark, and Brownwood (9-15-1) finished 6-6 as well but is the third-place team due to Glen Rose holding the tiebreaker, and Lampasas (6-18) is fourth at 5-7.

In the loss to Brownwood on Friday night, the Yellow Jackets mustered just one hit, and that came from Nate Barry with two outs in the bottom of the fourth.

Brownwood hurler Gavin Brandstette held the Yellow Jackets off balance as he struck out just one and walked two in the complete-game victory. He stranded five Stephenville baserunners.

Stephenville’s Reece Elston started and struck out five of the first nine hitters he faced, and Brownwood scored what would be the game-winning run on a balk with two outs in the top of the second.

The Lions scored three in the third and two more in the fifth for added insurance.

Elston allowed six runs (two earned) on four hits, walked one and struck out 10 in taking the loss. The Yellow Jacket defense committed four errors.