TYLER – The dream for a state championship was kept alive Tuesday night and took flight Wednesday morning.

The Bridge City 11-12-year-old All Stars rallied to defeat Lamar National 5-3 Tuesday for a chance to play again Wednesday morning for all the marbles.

On Wednesday the scrappy group of Bridge City Little League All-Stars came back and whipped Lamar National 3-2 to advance to the next level of playoffs to be held in Waco, August 7.

In Game 2, trailing 3-1 in the top of the sixth inning, Bryce Carey, 12, connected on a homerun pitch for a grand slam with two outs and two strikes against him, sparking Bridge City into the lead.

“Bryce is our best fastball hitter,” head coach Ronnie Shugart said. “I put him in to pinch hit because I just felt that he would connect. It was his hit to make and he did just what I knew he could do.”

And that was all it took, as Bridge City never looked back, holding Lamar National with defensive play and good pitching.

“When we were down 3-0, I just kept telling them to ‘keep battling,’” Shugart said. “And they did. If you give these guys a chance, they’ll make you pay. I’m proud of these guys and all I can say is that they just don’t quit.”

The all-star squad previously lost to Lamar National in Saturday’s competition 12-1, but rebounded on Sunday to win 6-1 over Northwest and defeated First Colony 7-6 on Monday to advance to Tuesday’s competition in Tyler.

“I attribute the play of these kids to a good, solid little league program,” Brigg Patterson, little league president, said. “We had 860 kids sign up this year. When you have that many signed up, you are doing something right.”

.The 11-12 year old boys have gotten further than any boys’ all-star team in Bridge City Little League History, Patterson said.

“It’s just a good group,” he said. “They learn the fundamentals well and carry it with them through high school. If you look at Bridge City’s and Orangefield high school’s starting line-ups, it is kids that have come through our program.”

The 11-12 year old girls’ softball all-stars were also successful over the weekend losing to Edna 8-0 on Saturday before rallying defeating Northside National 5-4 on Sunday and downing LaGrange 8-2 on Monday. They squared off against Edna again Tuesday night at Sabine.

The girls 10-year-old counterparts, however, were eliminated in the weekend competition, losing two straight games; the first being 13-1 to Hallettsville and the second 11-1 to Elgin. The Bridge City Little League Junior all-stars made their final walk to the dugout this past weekend following an 8-3 loss to Sinton.

For more game results, visit www.bcll.org or www.eteamz.com/txeastll/online.