Déjà vu all over again.
The Diboll Lumberjacks will take on the Hudson Hornets at 7 p.m. Friday, May 17, at Angelina College’s Roadrunner Field. Winner advances to the Class 3A Region III regional semifinals; loser is out of the state-title hunt
It’s the second time in three years the teams have met in the regional quarterfinals at AC. In 2011, after losing to district-champion Hudson twice in district competition, the Lumberjacks defeated the Hornets 4-3 to advance.
The two teams are in much the same scenario as then. Hudson again won the district title – defeating Diboll 3-0 and 5-4.
Hudson got to this game by defeating Taylor 9-2.
Diboll, after falling 5-2 to No. 8-ranked Caldwell on Friday at the Lufkin Pathers’ field, traveled Saturday to Caldwell and tied things up with a 16-2 victory. Eric DeJesus earned the win, pitching four hitless and scoreless innings, striking out three and giving up three walks. Alex Aguilar finished up the final inning on the mound, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk. He struck out the final batter.
In the deciding game, a 7-6 Diboll victory, both teams scored three runs in the first inning and Caldwell added another two runs in the third. Diboll took the lead with a three-run fifth and added a needed insurance run in the sixth.
In the top of the sixth, leading 6-5, Tony Hernandez was hit by a pitch and went to second on an Isaac Hernandez bunt single. Things took a downturn with a fly-out to right field and Tony Hernandez being doubled off second base. However, Jay Lowe came through with a double to right to plate Isaac Hernandez for run No. 7. A strikeout ended the inning.
Caldwell scored a run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but stranded a runner on third.
Diboll finished off the game in the top of the seventh. Eric DeJesus struck out the first two batters. A dropped third strike and a walk got things a little sticky for the Lumberjacks; but, Tony Hernandez put a glove around a line drive to center field for the third out.
Diboll’s big fifth inning got rolling with DeJesus singling with one out. Lowe was hit by a pitch, and Dustin Fisher singled and DeJesus scored to bring Diboll closer at 5-4. Aguilar singled to center field, plating Lowe to tie the game. Alex Grimaldo hit a sacrifice fly that scored Fisher for Diboll’s final run of the fifth.
Fisher earned the win, with DeJesus recording the save. Lowe and Aguilar also pitched.