LINDALE - The third time was a charm for the Gilmer Buckeyes.
Myles Chumley came off the bench in a big way Thursday night, scoring a run and driving in a run in the same inning as Gilmer opened its best-of-three 4A regional quarterfinal series against Kilgore with a 3-0 victory over the Bulldogs at the Lindale Baseball Complex.
Gilmer right-hander Kade Clemens scattered three hits in going the distance on the mound, improving to 4-3, striking out three and walking two.
The Buckeyes (17-14), who won on the final day of the regular season just to make the playoffs as the fourth-place entry from District 15-4A, had seen Kilgore twice before Thursday, losing both district games to the district champs, who fall to 25-6-2 with the loss.
The Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the playoffs, after sweeping Center and Mabank in the first two rounds of the postseason.
The series resumes Friday with Game 2, scheduled at 5 p.m., to be followed by Game 3, if necessary. Both will be in Gary.
Kilgore’s Javan Smitherman suffered his first loss of the season (9-1), going 6 1/3 innings. Connor Martin came on to get the final two outs, allowing an RBI single before getting a double play to end the contest.
Smitherman walked Clemens to start the bottom of the third inning. Chumley entered to run for his pitcher. Bryce Burns, who went 2 for 3 at the plate, singled. With one out Dimitri Fort coaxed a walk from Smitherman to load the bases. A wild pitch allowed Chumley to score the first run of the contest.
Later in the inning, Chumley helped himself and the Buckeyes, lashing a two-out single to left field to score Burns and give the Buckeyes a 2-0 cushion.
The Buckeyes added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single to right field.
Kilgore missed a couple of opportunities in the first couple of innings on baserunning blunders.