On Tuesday night the Bridge City Cardinals (6-2) defeated the West Orange-Stark Mustangs 15-5 battling for the Dist. 21-3A top spot with the Hamshire-Fannett Longhorns (6-2) who downed the Orangefield Bobcats 11-9. The Bobcats are still in contention but the battle is out of their hands hanging on the hopes of surprise losses by other district opponents. One of which is the Silsbee Tigers (5-3) who defeated Hardin-Jefferson (0-8) 9-3.

In Dist. 20-4A action Tuesday night the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears (9-3) fell to the Port Neches-Groves Indians (7-5) 5-4. The second place Bears are just behind the Nederland Bulldogs (11-1).

Teams are starting to make their moves in District 21-3A, as the playoff races are intensifying. What started out as a four way tie at the top is no longer the case, but the race is still very interesting. In Dist. 20-4A, the LC-M Bears are in striking distance of the title. They had a nice week by beating Ozen, Central, and Vidor. Vidor stayed in the playoff mix because besides losing to LC-M, they picked up two wins against Lumberton and Ozen.

Here is a look at The Record’s favorite teams during hometown baseball action this week.

The Bridge City Cardinals looked like they are hitting their stride by beating Harding Jefferson 10-0, and by knocking Silsbee from the top when they beat the Tigers 14-6. The West Orange Stark Mustangs and the Orangefield Bobcats split their games last week. The Bobcats took it to the Silsbee Tigers 11-2, but lost to WO-S 7-3. The WO-S Mustangs climbed right back in the playoff chase by beating Orangefield 7-3, but they took a step back by losing to Hamshire-Fannett 8-6.

Last Tuesday the West Orange Stark Mustangs put their backs against the wall with an 8-6 loss to Hamshire-Fannett. With district winding down, they cannot afford another loss. It’s been a crazy season, so anything can happen. The Longhorns got up early on the Mustangs and were able to hold off a late charge. Jacoy Finney recorded the loss, with Jonathan Smith coming in as relief. Cash McCarson and Finney had two hits for the Mustangs, and James Thomas and Zane Anderson both had a hit apiece.

Meanwhile, the Orangefield Bobcats traveled to Silsbee and caused a log jam at the top of the district. They are in the hunt for their second district title in a row. The Bobcats beat the Tigers 11-2. The Bobcats scored four runs in the fifth, and then exploded for seven runs in the seventh. In the fourth inning, Dustin Selman pinch ran for Westin Crain, who had received a free pass to first. Selman went to second on an error, allowing Braxton Smith to reach first, and he scored the first run of the game on Jakob Brown’s bunt RBI single. Brown also took second on an error, and then scored on Quinton Evans’ RBI single. Jonathon DeRamus then scored Brown and Evans with his second of three singles of the game.

In the seventh, the Cats took the pressure off of ace pitcher, Quinton Evans, who hurled a complete game. He gave up six hits to accompany his eight strike outs in his effort. In the seventh inning, Evans and DeRamus had back-to-back singles. Austin Scales moved them over ninety feet with a groundout to first. Jake Best scored Evans with a ground ball error from the third baseman. Parker James hit a single to load the bases and Luke Johnson worked the count to a walk, recording a RBI. Westin Crain was hit by a pitch for a RBI, giving way to Selman again to run the bases. Smith stepped in and hit a two run single, and then Selman trotted in on a wild pitch. The last run of the game came by an error on the catcher, scoring Smith.

On Friday, WO-S got right back into the intriguing race with a win against Orangefield 7-3. The Bobcats took a quick lead in the first inning. Quinton Evans opened up with a triple, and scored on Jonathon DeRamus’ single. Austin Scales reach first on a fielder choice, went to third on a Jake Best single, and scored on a pass ball. The Mustangs got one back in the top of the second. Cash McCarson hit a single, worked his way to third on Bobcat errors, and scored on a ground out by Luke Domas.

Orangefield took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third. Jake Best reaches on an error, and scored on a Parker James single. West Orange then took the lead for good in the top of the fifth with the help of a few Bobcat errors, Chaz York reached on another Bobcat error and Darius Mitchel worked a walk. Both scored on errors. James Thomas reached on an error and scores on a single hit by Zane Anderson.

The Stangs put up three insurance runs in the sixth inning. Mitchel led the Stangs in the hitting department with a perfect 2-2 day at the plate. Best added another single in the seventh inning for the Cats. Westin Crain took the loss on the hill, pitching five and one-third innings, giving up three hits, two walks, and striking out four. Jakob Brown finished the game, giving up two hits, walking two, hitting one batter, and striking out three. Zane Anderson had a complete game for the Mustangs, he scattered five hits on his way to the victory.

Bridge City’s Forrest Zoch was a little selfish against the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks in last Tuesday night’s game. He pitched a complete game shutout. It took him only sixty-one pitches to get the job done. Zoch faced seventeen batters in the game, and had something to do with fifteen of them. He struck out nine, walked one, gave up one hit, caught two pop ups, and threw two out at first. The other two batters were a fly out to Mitchel Hubbard in right, and a Zach Smith to Dylan Mulhollan ground out.

Of course the Cardinals’ offense had a lot to do with the game only going five innings. The Cardinals scored two runs in the second and third innings and six runs in the seventh inning. Matt Menard, Zoch and Hubbard each had two hits apiece. Menard hit a long ball and a single, Zoch hit a double and a single, and Hubbard with two singles. Smith, Bryce Sampere, Mulhollan, and Simoneaux helped out with a single apiece.

On Friday, Jake Lemoine helped keep the Cardinals tied for first in the district with an eleven strikeout night against the Silsbee Tigers. Lemoine struck out the side twice, in the third and fifth innings, and did not allow a hit until the sixth inning. Forrest Zoch relieved Lemoine in the sixth inning, keeping the Tigers in check for the rest of the game. The Cardinals had eleven hits in the game, led by homeruns from Mitchel Hubbard and Zoch, and a three for four performance from Bryce Sampere. Brandon Simoneaux and Hubbard had a two hit night, with Simoneaux hitting a double and a single. Hubbard added a single with his long ball. The other three hits were single off the bats of Cameron Dishon, Zach Smith, and Matt Menard. The Cardinals went on to beat Silsbee 14-6.

Behind the pitching of Reid Fults, who threw a no hitter, the LC-M Bears put in an easy days work beating the Ozen Panthers 11-0 in five innings to start the week last Tuesday. Fults only walked one batter, while striking out seven Panthers. The Bears used seven hits to score their runs, led by back-to-back homeruns from Hunter Gonzalez and Ryan Carline. Gonzalez’s long ball was a grand slam, and it took about two seconds for Carline’s ball to clear the right center field fence. LC-M scored one run in the first, and five runs in the third and seventh innings. The other five hits in the game were singles, hit by, Kevin Adams, Ryan Waddell, Alex Blem, Gonzalez, and Jonathan Allen.

LC-M’s James Swan picked up another win, beating Beaumont Central 11-1 on Friday. Swan pitched the first three innings, with Dillon Young pitching the fourth, and Dyllon Sanford threw the last inning. They combined for a one hitter. Swan led in the hitting department by hitting a triple and a double. Jonathan Allen and Kevin Adams had two hits each, and Scott Vaughn and Ryan Carline had one hit.

Vidor’s Hunter Hagler pitched a complete two hit shutout to beat the Lumberton Raiders 4-0. Hagler gave up three walks and struck-out twelve. The Pirates also beat Beaumont Ozen 13-7.

On Saturday morning the Bears and Pirates faced off for an Orange County rivalry. The Bears came out on top 7-4. Vidor struck first with a run in the third inning. Jordan Olbrich singled, stole second, and scored on Bubba Maxwell single. LC-M countered with a run in the fourth. The Bears took the lead in the top of the fifth. Ryan Waddell reached on a fielder’s choice, went to third on James Swan’s single, and scored on Alex Blem’s RBI single. However, the Pirates went back on top in the bottom of the inning. The bases were loaded when Hunter Hagler scored them all with a triple.

The Bears tied it in the top of the sixth inning. Ryan Carline singled, but was thrown out on Jonathan Allen’s fielder choice. Scott Vaughan reached on an error, and Allen and Vaughan scored on a another error. The Bears put it away in the seventh inning with three runs, aided by a homerun by Zach Drouillard. The Bears collected two more hits in the game, a single by Kevin Adams in the third inning, and another single by James Swan in the second inning, and the Pirates had three more hits in the game, all doubles. Hagler, for Vidor, recorded the loss with one inning pitched after Bubba Maxwell pitched the first six innings. Kody Smith got the win, coming in for relief for Reid Fults who pitched into the fifth inning, giving up six hits, walking two, and striking out five. Smith gave up two hits and struck out four.

Things may be clearer after this week’s games. LC-M hosted PN-G and will travel to Livingston. Vidor traveled to Central and will be taking a trip to PN-G. The Cardinals went to WO-S and will host Hamshire-Fannett. Orangefield went to Hamshire-Fannett and will be going to Hardin-Jefferson. WO-S came over to Bridge City and will go to Silsbee.
See you at the park!

There are two district games remaining.