Tournament baseball action continues this week, March 10-12, as the district seasons are fast approaching. The West Orange-Stark Mustangs will take part in the Jasper Bulldog Baseball Tournament. The Orangefield Bobcats will take their game to the Beaumont Kelly Tournament. The Bridge City Cardinal are driving across Texas to participate in the La Grange Baseball Tournament and the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears are headed to New Caney for tournament action there.

District 21-3A baseball starts March 25 on the road for The Record hometown teams. The Mustangs start district play against Hamshire-Fannett. The Orangefield Bobcats open the season against Silsbee and the Bridge City Cardinals will travel to Hardin-Jefferson. The Record’s LCM Battlin’ Bears open Dist. 20-4A on March 15 against Lumberton, here.
Orange County baseball squads are shaping up to what is certain to be an exciting season with playoff hopes on every diamond. Here is a quick run down of tournament action highlights this week.

The Orangefield Bobcats and Vidor Pirates met for a preseason game. The Pirates came away with the victory, 5-1. The win was sparked by a Matt Peno three-run homer in the fifth. Jakob Brown and Sterling Deslatte took the mound for the Bobcats. Brown pitched five innings while giving up four hits, walking four, and striking out four. Deslatte came in to relieve Brown in the fifth, and pitched the sixth inning also. He struck out one and allowed no hits. The Bobcats had four hits in the game.

Parker James had a double in the second inning, and scored on Eric Truncale’s single. The other two hits for the Cats were a Jake Best double, and a Jakob Brown single. Vincent Armstrong and Eric Foshe took care of the pitching duties for the Pirates. Armstrong pitched the first four innings. His stats were four hits, three walks, and six strikeouts. Foshe pitched the final three innings where he gave up no hits.

Bridge City traveled to Huntington, and came away with a 10-0 win. Forrest Zoch, Jacob Lemoine, Mitchel Hubbard and Hayden Guidry combined for a no-hit shutout. They struck out eleven batters, hit two, and walked one. The Cardinals belted ten hits in the contest. Their run production was one in the first, three in the second, two in the third, and four in the fifth. Brandon Simoneaux had a triple, and Bryce Sampere and Preston Pitman each had doubles. The rest of the hits were singles, with two coming from Zach Smith and Forrest Zoch. Cameron Dishon, Mitchel Hubbard, and Dylan Mulhollan each with one single.

Over in the Orangefield Bobcat Baseball Tournament, the Bobcats overcame a shaky first inning to beat C E King 5-4. Sterling Deslatte and Luke Johnson handled the pitching, each pitching three innings. Deslatte had three strike outs to go along with the one hit he gave up. Johnson had two strikeouts, four walks, and he also only gave up one hit. The Bobcats had four hits in the game, and were led by the hot hitting Austin Scales, who had two of the four hits. In the first inning Scales hit a single, but was picked off at first base. Jonathon DeRamus drew a walk, then eventually scored on a deep fly ball from Parker James.

The Cats chipped away in the third with a walk to Braxton Smith, who was moved over to second with a sac bunt from Jakob Brown, and then he scored on Scales’ second hit, a double. The Bobcats took the game in the sixth inning. James led off with a double and scored on Luke Johnson’s double. An error by the second baseball allowed Smith to reach first, and it advanced Johnson over to third. Brown scored Johnson with a squeeze bunt. C. E. King decided not to pitch to the hot hitting Scales, and gave him a free pass.

DeRamus then drew a walk to load the bases. After a pitching change from C. E. King, with Evans coming to the plate, the pitcher could not throw a strike, giving the Bobcats a walk off walk to win the game.

Orangefield faced Lumberton in their second game of their tournament. Lumberton used two big innings to overcome the Bobcats, a five run second inning, and a four run sixth inning. Braxton Smith pitched five and a third innings. He allowed nine hits, two walks, and hit three batters. Austin Scales relieved Smith in the sixth to finish the game. The Bobcats scored four runs in the game. The first run was in the first, Quinton Evan walked, went to second on a pass ball, was sacrificed to third by DeRamus, and scored of Austin Scales double. In the second Luke Johnson walked, went to second on a pass ball, and scored on an error by the left fielder. In the fourth, Evans hit a single, went to second on an error, stole third and scored on DeRamus ground out to second. Scales added his second double in the frame. The last run came in the sixth inning. Evans hit a triple and scored on a pass ball.

Other scores in the Bobcat Tournament. Hamshire Fannett 9, Lumberton 5; Silsbee 4, Kelly 4; Buna 6, Kirbyville 3; Memorial 6, Tyler All Saints 5; Silsbee 8, Tyler All Saints 3; Kelly 11, Central 1; Hamshire Fannett 15, C. E. King 4; Buna 8, Memorial 7; and Kelly 10, Kirbyville 10.

West Orange-Stark, Bridge City, and Vidor played in the Certa-Bearden Tournament. Bridge City and Nederland played the first game. The Cardinals lost the game 9-4. The Cardinals only had three hits in the contest, with two of them being homeruns. The Cardinals first two runs came in the first. Cameron Dishon and Brandon Simoneaux started it off with walks. Forrest Zoch moved the runner over with a ground ball to second, and Mitchel Hubbard and Zach Smith produced the two RBI’s. Hubbard hit a sac fly, and Smith had a single. The other runs came in the fourth inning off the bat of Preston Pitman, a homerun, and the same in the sixth off the bat of Hubbard. Hayden Guidry gave up four hits, and struck out one in his four innings of work. Pitman pitched the final two innings.
The host Mustangs split there first two games with a win against Shepherd 8-3, and a loss to Dayton 13-4. They faced Jasper in their third game in a nice pitchers duel. Only nine hits were surrendered in the game, five from Jasper, and four from the Mustangs. The Bulldogs won the game 6-2. Zane Anderson took the mound for WO-S for the first five innings. He gave up five hits, and struck out seven. Freshman Jonathan Smith came in and pitched the last two innings, allowing no hits. The Stangs scored one run in the first as Darius Mitchell walked, and scored on a Zane Anderson triple. Anderson led the Mustang in the hitting department, going two for two with a walk.

The Mustang’s final run came in the third. Anderson led off with a single. Sheldon Lee came in to run for Anderson, and stole second, then he scored on a Jacoy Finney single. The other Mustang hit came from right fielder Cash McCarson, who also made a nice diving catch in the game that turned in to a double play.

Vidor won their first game of the tournament 15-6 against Dayton. Vidor and Bridge City got together for their second game of the tournament. It was a tight game that was fun to watch as Hunter Hagler for the Pirates, and Forrest Zoch for the Cardinals pitched complete games. Zoch had seven strikeouts, gave up four hits, and allowed two walks.

Hagler had twelve strikeouts, to go along with four hits, and two walks. The Cardinals got on the board first in the third inning. Dylan Mulhollan drew a walk, went to second on Jacob Lemoine’s sac bunt, and then scored from third on Dishon‘s single. The Pirates scratched for two runs in the bottom of the inning. Tyler Kennon led off with a single, and Bryce Cooper got on with a error. Jeremy Stevenson advanced the runners ninety feet with a sac bunt. Bubby Maxwell plated the first run with a sac fly, and Jordan Olbrich hit an RBI single. The Cardinals reclaimed the lead for good in the fifth inning, Bryce Sampere reached first with a walk, and went to third of a single from Mulhollan. Jason Broussard, who was running for Mulhollan, went to second on a pass ball. Lemoine hit a line drive single over the third basemen’s head that scored Sampere and Broussard. Zoch hit a ground ball RBI in the inning to second that scored Lemoine.

The Pirates plated their last run in the sixth inning. Jordan Olbrich and Hunter Hagler reached on errors, and Cary Hester scored Olbrich with a sac bunt. Vidor’s other two hits were singles from Bryce Cooper and Jeremy Stevenson. Preston Pitman also had a single for Bridge City. The final score was 4-3. Vidor faced Jasper in their next game and were defeated 3-1.

Other scores in the tournament, Nederland 10, Jasper 0; Dayton 14, Shepherd 2; and Nederland 12, Dayton 0.

The LC-M Battlin; Bears played in the Brenham Tournament. In the Bears first game, they beat Texas City 13-3. They had an impressive five run first inning. Hunter Gonzales and Dyllon Sanford took care of the pitching. LC-M’s second game was a wild high scoring game against Brenham that they lost 11-9. Reid Fults, Kody Smith, and Alex Blem had the pitching chores. Scott Vaughan, Kevin Adams, and James Swan had two hits apiece, with Swan recording a homerun. Ryan Waddell, Blem, and Kevin Adams each collected a hit.
The Bears lost their third game against Lamar, 13-3, but they turn around and beat Bryan Rudder 12-11. Scott Vaughn started the offense off with a lead off homerun. The Bears came back from a five a point deficient with seven runs. James Swan had a game tying single, and Alex Blem put the Bears up for good with a double that scored two runs. Ryan Carline received the win on the mound for the Bears.

Other scores in the Brenham Tournament: Houston Lamar 11, Bryan Rudder 0; Houston Lamar 16, Texas City 3; Brenham 14, Bryan Rudder 3; The Woodland 4, Bryan 3; Bryan 8, Santa Fe 3; The Woodland 14, San Marcos 0; Santa Fe 8, Montgomery 6; San Marcos 5, Montgomery 4; Texas City 9, Bryan Rudder 8; Brenham 8, Texas City 4; Lamar 6, Brenham 0; Santa Fe 8, San Marcos 8; and San Marcos 8, Bryan 4.

I was looking forward to a few nice match-ups on Saturday, but Mother Nature had different plans. All tournaments were canceled because of rain. See you at the park.