ANNA – The Howe Bulldogs fell behind early in both games against Whitesboro and were unable to keep pace during a Class 3A Region II bi-district series.

Whitesboro, the runner-up in District 9-3A, won the opener, 7-3, on Thursday, May 3, and then advanced with a Game 2 victory, 8-2, on Friday, May 4. The Bearcats (18-3) will face Edgewood in the area round this week.

Howe (12-9), the third-place team in District 10-3A, was looking to force a deciding third game but fell behind 6-0 in the first inning of Game 2.

Weston Hickman was hit by a pitch with one out, stole second and scored on Scout Sanders’ RBI single to right. Kade Brewer singled and then Brooks Barker tripled to center to make it 3-0.

With two outs, Cody Wolf had an RBI double, Jake McCorkle followed with an RBI single and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

Whitesboro added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth on a groundout and an error.

The Bulldogs managed only a handful of base runners against Luke Langford. Kyler Anderson tripled, walked and drove two runs, Dyson Dillard and Peyton Reagan singled, Chase Barnett and Layton Elvington singled and Bryce Krantz reached on an error and was hit by a pitch.

Howe not only avoided the shutout in the sixth inning but it took that long for the Bulldogs to get their first hit. Dillard singled to right with two outs, Reagan followed with a single to left and Anderson brought home both with his triple to right.

Through four innings, Krantz reaching on an error was the only Howe base runner before Anderson led off the fifth with a walk. Krantz was then hit by a pitch and both moved up on Cirby Coheley’s groundout to second but the Bulldogs couldn’t push a run across.

In Game 1, Coheley was 2-for-3 and drove in a run, Reagan doubled and drove in a run and Cade Courtney and Spencer Akins each singled and scored during the loss.

Whitesboro took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Hickman RBI triple, made it 2-0 in the third on a sacrifice by Sanders and went up 4-0 in the top of the fourth on a wild pitch and a groundout by Sanders.

Anderson led off the fourth with a walk and Krantz singled to right. Coheley had a hit to center to trim the Bulldogs’ deficit to 4-1 but Sanders buckled down and got three straight outs to keep Howe from a bigger inning.

Whitesboro got the run back the next inning on an RBI double from Riley Dickson and pushed its advantage to 7-1 in the sixth on an error and a groundout.

Coheley and Garret Johnson singled with two outs in the bottom of the inning before the Bulldogs scored twice in the seventh. Courtney walked, Akins reached on an error and Dillard sacrificed them over before Reagan’s two-run double to center.