The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears head into the Region III Class 4A state baseball playoffs in a best-of-three series against the Crosby Cougars. Game One of the bi-district round is scheduled at Don Gibbens Field at LCM on Thursday. The series will resume on Friday at Barber’s Hill High School at 7 p.m. Game three, if needed, will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. same location.

The Bears (22-8, 10-4) shut out the Nederland Bulldogs 2-0 on Friday with Alex Blem and Dylan Young on the mound. Scoring fro LCM was Alex Garcia and James Swan. Garcia had two hits, and a RBI. Swan was 1-for-2 at the plate. The win secured the second place spot in Dist. 20-4A behind undefeated Port Neches-Groves as the Bears move up to the bi-district round on the road to Austin. In their way is Crosby, the third place team from Dist. 19-4A. The Cougars are 12-11-2 overall and 10-4 in district.

The Bridge City Cardinals (20-2-1, 10-0) will enter the Class-3A state baseball championships next week in the area round after securing a bye in the first round of the playoffs. On Tuesday night Bridge City took a road trip to Baseball USA in Houston for a warm-up game against Dist. 28-3A first place team Cuero. The Cardinals won it 3-2 with Zack Smith getting the win on the hill. On Thursday the Cardinals take on Dist. 18 champion Lufkin-Hudson for another warm-up game in Jasper.

Bridge City will take on the winner of the first round match up between Sealy and Rockdale which will be a best of three series played at A&M Consolidated later this week. Sealy comes in as the runner up in District 24 with a 14-8 overall record while going 9-3 in league play. Rockdale comes into the first round series with a sub .500 record in district at 4-6 and 17-11 for the season.

Last Friday Big Red finished up their undefeated district season with a win on Senior Night over Orangefield and now must the wait to see who they will face in the playoffs. In the game against Orangefield the eight Bridge City seniors all had a hand in the victory over the Bobcats as they played their last home game in front of the appreciative Cardinal fans. BC scored three runs in each of the first two innings and coasted to a 10-3 victory bringing their record to an impressive 20-2-1 so far.

Mitchell Hubbard again led the offense with another jaw dropping three run home run to left center, his third of the year. Hubbard finishes district leading the Cardinals in RBI’s with 15 and 13 runs scored. While Hubbard led the Cardinal offense it was Junior Hayden Guidry who took charge on the mound. Guidry carved up the Bobcats with eight strikeouts and one walk in five innings of work while only allowing one hit in a very impressive outing. The BC pitching staff has compiled a microscopic 1.23 ERA for the entire season and 0.42 for district which is almost unheard of. Bridge City will certainly be loaded and comfortable with any playoff game combinations, one game or three game series. The Cardinals also finish up their district campaign allowing only seven runs while scoring 79.

Now that all the playoff spots have been locked up and the bracket is finalized it can easily be said that the Cardinals have a tough task ahead of them if they expect to be playing for a title in Austin. The bottom half of the Region III bracket is about as stacked as it gets with two of the top three teams in the state with Bridge City and Robinson. If all the pre-season predictions come true these two may meet again down the road in a re-match of last years Regional Semi Finals. Until then the Cardinals will look no farther than their first opponent and hope this years playoff run will be a long one.

Also representing Orange County in the state baseball playoffs is the Orangefield Bobcats (10-14, 5-5). The ‘Cats under first year head coach Todd Trawhon will take on Dist. 22-3A runner-up Huffman-Hargrave (14-7, 8-2) in a best-of-three series starting Thursday in Orangefield at 7 p.m. Game Two will be Friday at Hargrave High School. Game Three, if necessary will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at Hargrave.

The Record encourages our readers to head out to the ball parks and supports our three Orange County teams as they make a run for the 2012 state baseball championships.