The Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears (9-4) defeated the Livingston Lions (9-4) Saturday 5-2 in the fight to hang on to the second place spot in Dist. 20-4A. The Bears finish off the regular season hosting the Nederland Bulldogs (8-4) on Friday. With the victory LCM bounced back from a tough loss on Wednesday to Port Neches-Groves for the top spot heading into the playoff rounds next week.

A five-run fifth inning pushed the Port Neches-Groves baseball team to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over LCM to claim first place. The five runs scored in the fifth were more than LC-M had given up in the previous four games.

“We were one play away from winning this game,” said LC-M coach Steve Griffith, “one play here, one play there.”

Alex Blem went 3 for 3 against PNG including a two-run home run for LC-M in the second inning.

Blem would also chalk an RBI in the Bear’s victory over Livingston. Casey Burleigh doubled in the first inning and was driven home by Kevin Adams. James Swan had an RBI double that scored Ryan Carline in the third. LCM took control of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Swan notched another RBI, as did Zack Drouillard. The Lions scored two runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Brandon Humphery and Reid Fults pitched. Fults got the win on the hill.

The LCM Bears are tough at the plate. Drouillard has racked up eight doubles and five home runs batting a .342. Jacob Garza is hitting at .378, Shea Richards .379 with 7 doubles and Blem .377. Swan has ripped 27 RBI going into Friday’s contest against Nederland.

The Bears have been impressive on the mound all season. Reid Fults has sent 55 batters back to the dugout after 42 2/3 innings pitched and a 1.31 ERA. Humphery has fanned 56 batters in 37 1/3 innings, seven wins and a .75 ERA. Carlin has a 1.75 ERA, while Dyllon Young has three wins on the hill and a 1.85 ERA.

Meanwhile, the Bridge City Cardinal baseball team has finally reached the last week of district play and continues to sport an unblemished district record. The Cards took care of a scrappy Hamshire Fannett Longhorn club on Monday after having that game stopped last Friday due to weather in the 3rd inning.

Senior Jake Lemoine tossed a one hitter while his defense played lights out behind him. Infielders Hayden Guidry, Zach Smith, Bryce Sampere, and Cameron Coulter all had top notch plays in the 3-1 victory. The Longhorns were unable to get anything going against the Cardinals as their only score came courtesy of a solo homerun by Rhett Williamson.

BC on the other hand banged out ten hits and seemed to have base runners on in every inning. The Cardinals finally broke through with two insurance runs late and sealed the outcome. Lemoine helped himself out at the plate with two hits as did Matt Menard. Cameron Coulter and Mitchell Hubbard also pitched in with RBI’s in key situations for a Cardinal club which now has scored 69 runs in district while only surrendering four.

The game with Fannett was the closest contest thus far in district for the Cardinals and it happened at a great time as the playoffs are right around the corner. Bridge City head coach Chad Landry has to be pleased that his club is playing this well and still improving while heading into playoffs. Seeing players like Matt Menard and Zach Smith back at full game speed to go along with an already potent lineup just increases both expectations and odds that BC will make another deep playoff run.

First things first, BC has one final district game ahead of them with the always tough Orangefield Bobcats who secured the third playoff spot from district 21-3A. The Bobcats will come to BC for the district finale and Senior Night for the Cardinals. This graduating class is certainly one of the most accomplished groups to come through Bridge City and they certainly aren’t ready to quit now. The Cardinals pursuit of an undefeated district campaign will take place Friday night at 7 p.m. in BC.

Now looking ahead for BC the pieces of the playoff puzzle are beginning to fall into place. The Cardinals get a first round bye as a result of being the district champ and will play the winner of the game between the runner up from District 24 and the third place tem from District 23. As of this column it appears that game will be between Columbus and Rockdale. Bridge City will play a warm up game with District 28-3A champion Cuero on May 1st at Baseball USA in Houston at 7 p.m.. The Cards will continue their momentum while waiting to find out who their first opponent will be in playoffs.

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The Orangefield Bobcats (5-4) are also heading to the playoffs as the third place team in Dist. 21-3A after defeating the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks 11-6 on Saturday. Orangefield hosts Bridge City to finish off the regular season on Friday.

The West Orange-Stark Mustangs finish the season on the road against Hardin-Jefferson on Friday.