Baseball News: Jasper brings the heat

 

After a magical 2018 season in which they reached the state semifinals the Jasper Bulldogs are grinding towards another stellar season. Chock-full of returners with hard edged experience this years team has the look of a team united towards an unfulfilled goal.

“We have a strong group back this year,” said Jasper baseball coach Stephen Westbrook.

“They have all stepped up here lately so we’re in good shape.”

A solid returning core of seniors Colton Womack (2nd team all state, SS/P), Trent Bryant (2nd team all district, 1B/P) and Barret Neal (P/3B) has led the Bulldogs through a very competitive District 20-4A.

Currently Jasper (5-1) finds themselves in a dogfight with Carthage (6-0) for the top spot as their northern neighbors themselves are having a solid season. Carthage currently is the #4 ranked team in Texas 4A according to TxHighSchoolBaseball.com.

Jasper is ranked 20th overall in the 4A division.

“Carthage is loaded”, said Westbrook.

“They have three really good arms, and they swing the bat really well one through nine. They are probably the most complete team we’ve seen all year. (Lufkin) Hudson is also a really good team in our district. They’re currently ranked 18th in the state.”

Friday night will be a major test for Jasper as Carthage visits the Bulldogs for a district showdown. On March 19th Carthage made a bold statement by beating Jasper at home 12-2 in a five inning blowout.

The contest will set the table for the district standings and for momentum heading into the final stages of district play. With only a five team district teams play each other three times during the season.

Like many high school sports in southeast Texas the grit and determination of the competitors will be on display.

“We’ve got some hard nosed kids here in our area,” said Westbrook.

“All the kids live on farms which brings a different type of work ethic. They like to work and play hard every game.”

Jasper will head back to Carthage April 23 for their third and final contest.

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