Jacksboro boys win series over Breckenridge
GRAFORD – This small Palo Pinto County community is not known for amusement parks or namely rollercoasters. It got the feel of one last weekend.
At the Athletic Complex here, Jacksboro and Breckenridge gave fans ups and downs and plenty of momentum turns in their three-game series. Ultimately, however, Jacksboro would prevail, knocking Breckenridge out and moving on in the Class 3A postseason.
The Tigers (16-13-1) will open area action vs. Clyde (22-3) in a best-of-three series. Game 1 is Friday at 4:30 p.m. in Graford with games 2 and 3, if necessary, set for Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. at Abilene Christian University.
Brief summaries of all three games follow:
Jacksboro 8, Breckenridge 7
The Buckaroos let a 4-0 lead evaporate, thanks to a six-run Tiger fourth inning.
Breckenridge scored once in the second and fourth and twice in the third before the Purple began its comeback. Jacksboro sent 10 batters to the plate in the frame, opening with Lathan Lowrance singling and swiping second.
Jacob Hull brought him home with a one-out single through the box. Fellow senior Tyler Harmonson then doubled home Hull to cut the lead to 4-2.
Back to back singles from Fernando Piedra and Luke Dixon plated Harmonson. Clay Botello then doubled home Piedra and Dixon with a double of his own to take a 5-4 lead and knock D’Andrey Silva from the game.
With two gone, Ty Kennedy aided his own cause with a triple to plate Botello. before a fly to center ended the inning. The Tigers doubled their lead from two to four in the fifth.
Caleb Nunley reached on an error to open the frame. Walks to Harmonson and Piedra loaded the sacks with one gone. A Dixon single and Botello being hit by a pitch brought home two before the next two hitters were retired.
Breckenridge would not go quietly into the night, however, scoring three runs in the sixth. Singles by Tristan Garcia and Owen Woodward pacing the comeback which fell short as Botello relieved Dixon in the hill and retired the last two hitters of the sixth and all three in order in the seventh to end the 2:24 game.
Tiger Coach Blake Belcher said it was a battle he expected.
“They made some great plays in the outfield early (which kept Jacksboro off the board),” Belcher said. “I didn’t want to use Clay but I didn’t want to lose the game either.”
Botello started Game 2 Saturday morning.
Breckenridge 6, Jacksboro 0
Botello set the first nine down in order but the Buckaroos used a two-run fourth for all the offense they’d need to force a game three.
Jacksboro threatened in the first with a Piedra single and walk to Botello but the next two hitters were retired. In the Tiger third, Harmonson led off with a walk and moved over on a Dixon single but a pair were left again with one out as the next two hitters were set down.
A walk and a pair of two-out hits scored a pair of Breckenridge runs in the fourth. The ‘Roos added four fifth innings runs on three hits and a pair of errors to take control. Harmonson’s single in the fifth and a walk to Kennedy in the sixth went for naught. In the seventh, two out walks to Harmonson and Piedra were for naught after a groundout.
Jacksboro 10, Breckenridge 5
Jacksboro used a pair of five-run innings to knock the Buckaroos from the postseason.
The initial five-run frame came in the second as Lowrance opened with a single and moved to second as a pickoff throw to retire him was off the mark. Nunley singled him home while a second pitcher’s error allowed Hull to reach second.
Harmonson brought the pair home with a single for a 3-0 lead. A third pitcher’s error on a fielder’s choice play brought home Harmonson and put Piedra at second.
Dixon singled him home for a 5-0 cushion. A Botello double and walk to Payton Laake loaded the bases but a double play ball to second and fly to center ended the inning.
Breckenridge used a single second-inning run and three in the fourth to stay in the game down 5-4, The Tigers broke the game open for good with a five-run sixth.
Walks to Harmonson, Piedra, and Dixon loaded the sacks with another walk to Botello bringing home Harmonson for a 6-4 lead. Laake ‘s infield single plated Piedra with a sac fly, a wild pitch and Lowrance double bringing home the other three runs.
Lowrance was cut down at the plate following a Nunley single to end the threat. Breckenridge used a single, a wild pitch and a groundout for its final runs in the seventh but a groundout back to the pitcher ended the 2:17 game.