From Staff Reports

LUFKIN — Sawyer Dunagan drove in four runs, Matt Houston capped a big series with three more hits and the Hallsville Bobcats advanced to the area round of the Class 5A playoffs with a 15-0 blowout win over Huntsville on Monday in the finale of a bi-district series.

Hallsville won the opener of the series at home (5-4), but fell 7-5 on Saturday in Huntsville to force a third-and-deciding game.

The finale was never in doubt.

The Bobcats scored twice in the top of the first, added three in the second, one in the third, two in the fifth and then erupted for seven in the sixth to turn things into a rout.

Hallsville moves on to face Cleburne in the area playoffs. That series is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Hallsville, switching to Cleburne Friday for a 4 p.m. contest and moving to Whitehouse for a 2 p.m. battle if a third game is needed.

Cleburne opened the playoffs with a sweep (6-1, 4-1) of Highland Park.

Houston, who finished the series 5-for-9 with a double, triple and seven RBI, led off Monday’s game with a triple and courtesy runner Jack Holladay scored on an Logan Jones single. Jones later came home on Ethan Miller’s single for a quick 2-0 lead.

In the second, a walk, error and bunt put a man on third and Houston drove him in with a sacrifice fly. Dunagan followed with a two-out, two-run single, and the Bobcats enjoyed a 5-0 cushion.

Carson Blakeley reached on an error in the third and scored on a single by Carter Rogas, and the Bobcats got RBI singles from Rogas and Houston in the fifth for an 8-0 lead before blowing things wide open in the sixth.

A walk and hit batsman put two men aboard, and Ethan Miller followed with an RBI double. The rest of the runs came on a two-run single by Blakeley, RBI singles from Rogas and Houston and a two-run double by Dunagan.

Houston was 3-for-3 with three RBI. Dunagan had three hits and four RBI, Miller three hits and two RBI, Rogas three hits and three RBI, Blakeley a single and two RBI and Jones a single and an RBI.

Grayson Werth worked five innings on the mound for the pitching win. He struck out three and walked two, scattering five hits. Blake Cox struck out two in a scoreless inning of work.

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Sports editor

I've covered sports in East Texas since 1987, starting as a 21-year-old sports editor at the Kilgore News Herald before spending seven years at the Lufkin Daily News and the past 23 years at the Longview News-Journal.