WHITEWRIGHT — Despite an early lead, the Howe Bulldogs varsity squad couldn’t hold out for the victory in a high scoring, 16-10, defeat in their 10-3A district matchup against the Whitewright Tigers.


The Bulldogs drew first blood with an RBI single by Dylan Hughs into centerfield in the top of the first. Dyson Dillard smacked an RBI single of is own and an error by the Whitewright third baseman made it a 3-0 Howe lead by the end of the inning. Howe added to their lead in the top of the third with two back to back singles by Dillard and Garret Johnson to set up the bases for the Bulldogs. Spencer Akins and Lane Stracener capitalized on the opportunity with two back to back RBI singles of their own, making it a 5-0 lead for the Bulldogs.


Whitewright began stirring in the bottom of the third, scoring off of two RBI singles and a sac-fly. The score now a less comfortable 5-3 affair. The Bulldogs responded in the top of the fourth with a lead off double by Hughs, Johnson followed with an RBI double into the centerfield fence that allowed Hughs to cross the plate. Jalen Thornton contributed with an RBI single into left that brought Johnson into score and gave the Bulldogs a relieving 7-3 lead.


Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, after only keeping them to a run gain in the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers had an offensive explosion in the bottom of the fifth — with two outs in the inning, the Tigers scored seven runs off of a costly error by the Bulldogs, an RBI single, an RBI walk, a three RBI double, and an RBI triple.


When it was all said and done the Bulldogs lead had been erased and the Tigers wrote in an 11-7 lead. Whitewright continued their assault in the bottom of the sixth inning, four hits and four walks combined for five Tiger runs and a 16-7 Whitewright lead. The Bulldogs put up some fight in the top of the seventh inning, scoring three runs off an RBI double by Stracener and a two RBI single by Kyler Anderson, giving the ballgame its final and definitive score.


Stracener had a solid game going 2-4 with two RBIs and a run scored, Johnson went 2-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, Dillard went 2-4 with an RBI, Akins went 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored, Hughs went 2-5 with an RBI and 2 runs scored, Thornton went 1-2 with an RBI and a run scored, and Anderson wrapped the night up going 1-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.