Bridge City and Silsbee connect for title

Two words that best describe Bridge City baseball at this juncture of the season would be “healthy” and “hot”. The Cardinals have spent basically the entire season thus far without playing a game at full strength, until Monday when the entire team finally suited up together. Various injuries have kept the Cardinals from benefitting from the services of seniors Zach Smith and Matt Menard, two very key figures in the BC lineup. With both players healthy now it appears that the Cardinals are ready to switch gears and continue their winning ways.

Now don’t think for a minute that BC missed a step during Menard and Smith’s absence as the Cardinals stacked up 14 wins against two losses in that time frame. Head Coach Chad Landry has to feel like a kid a Christmas now that his lineup is at full strength with the outright lead in the district up for grabs this week.

BC will play the Silsbee Tigers twice this week and those games will go a long way towards determining this years district champ. The first game is scheduled for Wednesday and is make up game from March 30 when a lighting malfunction caused the game to be cancelled. The Cardinals will then travel to Silsbee on Friday for a regularly scheduled match up. Both teams enter Wednesdays game unbeaten in district. BC has been absolutely dominant thus far posting three shutouts in their five wins and only allowing two runs and 11 hits in that span.

The pitching depth that was already ridiculously deep was bolstered as Smith returned from injury and threw six outstanding innings against Hardin Jefferson in a 12-0 victory. Cardinal aces Jake Lemoine and Hayden Guidry will no doubt take the mound against Silsbee in the two games this week. Many Cardinal faithful have been debating among themselves about the possibility of this being the deepest pitching staff BC may have ever had. It’s certainly as good or better than any in recent memory and that will really help come playoff time, especially in a three game series.

Offensively speaking the Cardinals are getting hot at the perfect time as well. Junior Bryce Sampere has just punished opposing pitching since district started. Mitchell Hubbard continues to drive in runs as it seems like every time he comes up to bat there are plenty of RBI’s waiting on the bases. With the welcome addition of both Matt Menard and Zach Smith swinging the bat well the Cardinal lineup will be difficult for opposing pitching to navigate.

Hunter Uzzle and Cameron Dishon continue to set the tone from the top of the order as they have been tough outs and are managing to get on base enough to have scored 14 of the 38 runs the Cardinals have in district. Bridge City is averaging nearly eight runs a game in district while giving up less than one per contest. To say they are hitting their stride at the right time would be a huge understatement.

The upcoming games against Silsbee will be highly contested and should be very exciting to watch. The district playoff race should become much clearer by next week and all signs point to the Cardinals being in the drivers seat now that the dugout is full and all the missing parts are back where they belong.

To roundup on how Orange County teams fared this week, on Tuesday, April 3, saw the Orangefield Bobcats journey to Sour Lake and win a close game over the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks by a mere two-run lead, 10-8.

The Bobcats scored one run in the first inning, four in the second, and five in the sixth. The home team Hawks scored consistently with two runs in the first, one in the second, third, and fourth; two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth. The seventh inning saw neither team score.

Austin Scales led the ‘Cats with three hits, followed by Jake Best and Braxton Smith with two apiece and Blake Judice and Jacob Brown with each knocking one hit off the Hawks pitching staff. Scales had the only double for the Bobcats, Best and Judice each got credit for an RBI.

Thursday night, the Bobcats hosted their cross-bayou rivals, the Bridge City Cardinals. It was the ‘Cats night off as they came up scoreless against the Cards five runs.

The Bobcats batted 22 times against the Cardinals’ pitching staff and saw 14 of their batters struck out. Best got the only two hits of the game for the Bobcats.

Tuesday night also saw the West Orange-Stark Mustangs go to the piney woods of Silsbee to match up with the Silsbee Tigers. The Mustangs hobbled back to the stable with a 17-1 loss to the Tigers.

Thursday, the Mustangs met the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks and outscored them 10-0.

District 20-4A saw LCM’s Battlin’ Bears take a 9-1 win over the Lumberton Raiders last week, the Bears will meet the Ozen Panthers in Beaumont, Tuesday, April 10.

On Friday the Bears will host the Beaumont Central Jaguars and Saturday they will meet the Vidor Pirates, also at the Bear’s field.