By Josh Havard
The Diboll Lumberjacks’ 2016 regular season came to a tough close as they dropped an 8-7 heartbreaker to the Huntington Red Devils in 10 innings on Friday afternoon.
After the teams battled to a 5-5 tie through nine innings, Huntington’s Brinden Stephens delivered a three-run homer in the top of the 10th inning to seemingly put away the Lumberjacks.
However, Diboll didn’t go down without a fight as it plated two runs in the bottom of the inning before falling just short.
Kevin Hurley started the game and pitched eight innings for the Lumberjacks, allowing five runs while striking out eight batters. At the plate he added a pair of hits and three RBI.
Kyle Guevara took the loss for Diboll, allowing three runs while walking one and striking one in two innings of work.
Edgar Padilla also had a big game for Diboll by reaching base four times and scoring two runs to go along with an RBI. He also started Diboll’s 10th-inning rally with a triple.
In the early going, it looked like Diboll, which had been blanked by Huntington twice earlier this season, would have another long night.
The Red Devils raced out to a 4-0 lead with the help of a Diboll error that allowed two of those runs to score.
The Lumberjacks came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning to pull closer before eventually chipping away to force extra innings.
The Lumberjacks will be back in action for the Class 4A Region III Bi-District Playoffs against Carthage this week.
That series will start on Friday night at 7. The series will resume on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Diboll. A third game, if necessary, would be played 30 minutes following the conclusion of the second game.
.— Josh Havard