SPORTS HEADLINES

Baseball: Boyd ends playoff drought – Jackets reach postseason for first time since 2004

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, April 30, 2016
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Long Awaited Celebration

LONG-AWAITED CELEBRATION – Boyd’s Colten Bruce and Cade Capps celebrate the Yellowjackets’ 4-1 win over Paradise Wednesday to clinch a playoff spot. Messenger photo by Kelly Basting

For the first time in a dozen years, the Boyd Yellowjackets are in the baseball playoffs.

Behind a four-run sixth inning, the Yellowjackets took down rival Paradise Wednesday 5-1 to wrap up a playoff spot.

“Especially those seniors, they’ve been working to get to this point,” said Boyd coach James Karcher. “Last year was tough. We came one game away from [the playoffs]. My first year we had two district wins. There’s been a continual improvement. They’ve worked hard to get better.”

The Boyd victory not only put the Yellowjackets into the playoffs, but also gave them a shot at second or third seeds, entering the final game of the season Friday at Bowie. Boyd, who was tied for third with Henrietta, needed a win over the league champion and a Paradise loss to Jacksboro for a shot at the second seed. Paradise could wrap up the second seed with a win.

Wednesday, the Panthers and Yellowjackets were tied at 1-1 entering the bottom of the sixth.

Jerrit Rawlings started the frame with a walk that was followed by a one-out Baylor Manire single. With two-out, senior Clay Barnett came through with a RBI-single to center. Colton Bruce added a pair of insurance runs with a two-run single to center.

“Clay’s hit was huge,” Karcher said. “Bruce then added a big hit.

“We had opportunity after opportunity early and couldn’t take advantage of them.”

Three of the Boyd runs were charged to Paradise senior starter John Bridgeman, who struck out seven and walked six in five and one-thirds. He allowed four hits in his 114 pitches.

Paradise coach Kinney LaPrade said Boyd hitters worked to drive up Bridgeman’s pitch count.

Spencer Pelligrini earned the win for the Yellowjackets, allowing one unearned run on four hits. He struck out eight and walked four.

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