Diamonds are silent for Orange County playoff teams
The 2013 baseball and softball season is now in the record books. All of Orange County’s state playoff contenders were eliminated in their respective playoff rounds last weekend.
After a thrilling come from behind 3-2 victory in the Class-4A regional quarterfinal round against the Nederland Lady Bulldogs, the LCM Lady Bears were defeated by Ridge Point in the semifinal round on Saturday. The Lady Bears dropped Game I against the Lady Panthers in Alvin on Friday. The best-of-three series resumed on Saturday at Port Arthur Memorial High School as the Lady Bears fell prey to the Lady Panthers 2-0.
The loss ended a remarkable season for the Lady Bears who reign as the Dist. 20-4A champions. Propelled by the pitching of Raven Cole, an LSU Eunice signee, were ranked No. 1 in Texas.
On the baseball diamond only two Orange County teams were left standing going into the regional quarterfinal round last week.
The Orangefield Bobcats (21-11), the third seed in Dist. 21-3A, and the Bridge City Cardinals, the second seed, were both knocked out of the playoffs during weekend playoff action.
Orangefield was defeated by the Dist. 21-3A champions the Silsbee Tigers ending a good post season for the Bobcats led by second year head baseball coach Todd Trawhon. Orangefield lost Game One on Thursday 5-1 but split the series on Friday defeating Silsbee 5-3. It would take all three games for Silsbee to advance in the playoffs finally eliminating Orangefield on Saturday 6-2 at Vidor High School.
The post season for the Bridge City Cardinals came to an end on Saturday in a one game winner-take-all-in La Porte. The Cardinals lost to the Huffman Hawks 5-4.
Bridge City jumped out to an early lead in the second inning as Ashton Hunter singled in Preston Pittman from second after he doubled off the left field wall. BC struck again in the third inning scoring three more times while extending their lead to 4-0.
Senior pitcher Hayden Guidry cruised through four innings allowing one hit until he ran into trouble in the top of the fifth. Huffman put together a rally against three Cardinal pitchers and managed to score five runs, four of them with two outs, and take a lead they would never relinquish. The Cardinals were unable to scratch out another run over the final three frames and eventually fell 5-4.
Bridge City has been unable to escape the dreaded “one game playoff” for quite some time and this year was no exception. The depth and quality of the pitching staff year in and year out usually has opposing teams trying to stay out of a three game series with the Cards and electing to roll the dice with a one game scenario.
Huffman has used this strategy against BC the last two years and nearly made it pay off both times. Last year BC was able to comeback in miraculous fashion to beat the Falcons and this year the tables were turned as Huffman came back and took this year’s game in much the same fashion. Huffman will move on to face Diboll in the Region Semi-finals this week.
This season saw the Cardinals continue their excellent run of quality baseball as they claimed a share of the district title, number 22, and progressed three rounds deep in the state playoffs ending with a 25-10 record overall. A very accomplished senior class led the way this year along with some new faces that will return for next season in hopes of another deep playoff run.
The Cardinals will also benefit next season from a junior varsity team that won a record 20 games en route to a district title. Make no mistake about it there will be some vacancies to be filled on the roster in 2014 but the depth of talent at Bridge City usually has a way of filling the void.