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Tigers lose late lead, go down 1-0 in series

May 27—RUSK- The Neches Tigers and Chester Yellowjackets began their 1A Regional Baseball Final Saturday, as the 1A powerhouses both looked to take the early edge in the best-of-three series.

Neches took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, scoring on a passed ball from Chester starter Will Thomason, and would hold that lead all the way through to the top of the seventh. In the final inning, Chester would scratch across three runs, two unearned, sending Neches to the batter's box with just three outs to attempt to turn the contest back in their favor.

The Tigers didn't go down without a fight, threatening to regain control in the final frame. Neches loaded the bases with just one out, but a strike out and fielder's choice would get Chester out of the inning, escaping with a game one victory, and a commanding 1-0 led in the three game series.

The Tigers will now need to win two games in a row to advance to the state tournament. It's a tall task, but one the Tigers are familiar with. Last round, the Tigers fell in the first game of their series with the Union Hill Bulldogs, 9-3, before going on to blast the Bulldogs in the final two games, 15-2 and 14-6.

The series with the Yellowjackets will shift away from Rusk for the final two games, with game two starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 28 at Hudson High School in Lufkin. Game three of the series, if needed, will also kick off at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 29.