Bridge City Cardinal senior first baseman Nick Portacci has been named The Record’s All Orange County Baseball Most Valuable Player- Defense.                                    RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

Bridge City Cardinal senior first baseman Nick Portacci has been named The Record’s All Orange County Baseball Most Valuable Player- Defense. RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn

Another spring sport season is in the record books. But not before three Orange County baseball teams launched post season campaigns. The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears, Bridge City Cardinals and Orangefield Bobcats fanned out across the area in the playoffs. It was a thrilling season that came to an end during tough and talented Region III baseball action.

Little Cypress-Mauriceville bit into regional playoff action in Class 4A. The third seed team from Dist. 20. Meanwhile, cross-community rivals, Bridge City and Orangefield exited Dist. 21-3A second and third behind first place Silsbee. All but Silsbee remains swinging in Region III. The Tigers are facing Dibol in the regional final later this week.

The 2013 playoff season would not end without spectaculars. The Bridge City Cardinals (20-3) would stun the state’s No. 1 ranked Sweeny in the area round. What seemed to be a long shot, Bridge City swept the three game series ejecting Sweeny from the playoffs. The Cardinals took Game One 4-1 with senior pitcher Hayden Guidry racking up 12 strikeouts. A three run homer by senior Preston Pittman would earn Bridge City a victory. The stunning Game One victory over Sweeny proved not to be a fluke. The Cardinals came back in Game Two to mercy rule the state baseball powerhouse 11-0 in six innings. Pittman would strikeout 11 batters in the upset to get the win on the hill.

Meanwhile the Orangefield Bobcats (21-11) were blazing their own trail in the playoffs knocking out Houston Furr 11-0 in 5 innings in the regional area round. The following week Orangefield went into the quarterfinals a long shot against the dominate Silsbee Tigers.  After falling in Game One, the Bobcats battled back splitting the series with a 5-1 Game Two  victory with Braxton Smith on the hill for Orangefield. “All year Braxton has come through,” Coach Tood Trawhon said after the game. “He is 10-2 and he’s gutted it up for us. He’s had a good year,” Trawhon said of Smith.

The Bobcats would be defeated in the decisive Game Three the next day at Vidor High School. But it had been a remarkable season for second year head baseball coach Todd Trawhon and his scrappy group of Orangefield Bobcats. The successful season earned Coach Todd Trawhon The Record’s All-Orange County Coach of the Year.

The LCM Bears (12-11-1) also went down swinging in the Class 4A regionals. On a crisp, cool, blue skied Saturday the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears took the field in a final battle to survive the 2013 Class 4A regional playoffs. After dropping Game One of the best-of-three series on the road against Barbers Hill, the Battlin’ Bears returned home to Don Gibbens Field for crucial Game Two.  The favored Barbers Hill Eagles would eventually prevail, 11-8. But not before the Bears would drag the Eagles into an extra inning. LCM senior James Swan had two home runs in the contest, one a third inning grand slam that tied the ball game 4-4. Swan struck again with a two run homer in the sixth inning to tie the contest back up 8-8 forcing an extra inning. Barbers Hill pulled ahead 11-8 in the eighth ending another great season for LCM baseball. Swan has been named as The Record’s All-Orange County Offensive MVP.

Total team effort propelled local teams in the playoffs during the 2013 season. Individuals selected for The Record’s 2013 All-Orange County Baseball Team are worthy of the recognition. But none would receive mention without the dedication and support of their fellow teammates.

Departing seniors are all worthy of mention. The Bridge City Cardinals will be saying goodbye to Bryce Sampere, Collin Gros, Preston Pittman, Hayden Guidry, Nick Portacci and Caleb Rodriguez.

The Orangefield Bobcat seniors departing are Garrett Morrell, Eric Truncale, Dustin Selman, Kurt Haggard, Ryan Gunstream, Luke Johnson and Cody Angelle. West Orange-Stark (10-17) seniors Ke’Javion Cooper, Daniel Woodson and Antonio Warnell will be leaving the Mustangs.

The Record Newspapers and TheRecord Live.Com are proud to announce the 2013 All-Orange County Baseball Team as follows:

All-Orange County Offensive MVP- James Swan, LCM

All Orange County Defensive MVP- Nick Portacci, BC

All-Orange County Co-Newcomer of the Year- Coby Roddy, LCM

All-Orange County Co-Newcomer of the Year- Tryce Howard, OF

All-Orange County Coach of the Year- Todd Trawhon, OF

All-Orange County Baseball Team:

First Baseman: Nick Portacci, BC

Second Baseman: Bryce Sampere, BC

Short Stop: Shea Richard, LCM

Third Baseman: Brennon Moore, LC-M

Outfield: Dylan Gruber, LCM

Outfield: Grant Lapoint, WOS

Outfield: Keaton Langston, BC

Catcher: Hunter Uzzle, BC

Pitcher: Hayden Guidry, BC

Pitcher: Braxton Smith, OF

Pitcher: Brandon Humphrey, LCM

Pitcher: Preston Pittman, BC

Utility Player: Grant Anderson, WOS

Feature Photo: Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bear senior James Swan has been named The Record’s All Orange County Baseball Most Valuable Player-Offense.    RECORD PHOTO: Mark Dunn