Local baseball teams advance to force rematch week
By Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record
District 24-4A continues to dominate opponents in the UIL Class 4A, Region III baseball playoffs as all four district representatives, including three Orange County teams, have advanced to the Regional Quarterfinals.
The Bridge City Cardinals defeated Bellville 2-1 in the best of three game series over the course of the weekend and will now face the West Orange-Stark Mustangs, which beat the Giddings Buffaloes 2-1 in a best of three game series this past week. LC-M beat Caldwell 2-0 in the best of three series and will now take on the Silsbee Tigers, which defeated Navasota 2-1 in a best of three game series.
The Mustangs snagged game one from the Buffaloes by a score of 3-2 this past Thursday behind the superb pitching of junior Jack Dallas, who had 11 strikeouts in a complete game.
The Mustangs bats were solid when needed as the offense jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the first inning and a 3-0 lead after three innings. The lead was good enough as West Orange-Stark’s defense was able to stifle the Giddings batters and limit the Buffaloes to two runs for the victory.
The Buffaloes outhit the Mustangs to take game two by a score of 7-2 and to force the rubber match late Friday.
Things looked bleak as the Mustangs trailed Giddings 8-7 at the start of the bottom of the sixth inning, but the bats came to life when WO-S needed it most as the Mustangs scored four runs in the inning thanks to timely hits by Jack Dallas, Tre Bernard, Ryan Ragsdale and others to secure an 11-8 lead entering the top of the seventh inning and proved to be the final score.
The Cardinals were forced to come from behind in the series after dropping game one to the Brahmas 5-2, and come from behind they did as Bridge City won game two, 17-2, and game three, 7-0, to advance to the Regional Quarterfinals.
Bridge City battered the Brahamas pitching staff in game two with 16 hits as the game was called after the fifth inning due to the 10-run rule. Pitcher Tod McDowell grabbed the win with six strikeouts while allowing two walks.
Game three moved to Sweeny because of the inclement weather conditions, but the Cardinals kept the momentum going as Bridge City jumped out in front 3-0 in the first inning and never looked back on its way to a 7-0 series clinching win.
The Cardinals and Mustangs will face off this week. The teams split the series during District 24-4A play.
Game one will be at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 19, at Lamar University in Beaumont. Game two will be at 7 p.m., Friday, May 20, at Jasper High School, and, if necessary, game three will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, at Jasper High School.
The winners of the Bridge City and West Orange-Stark match will face the winner of the Hudson and Robinson series in the Regional Semifinal next week.
The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears swept the Caldwell Hornets with a 9-4 victory on Friday and a 7-4 win during a rain-delayed marathon, road trip on Saturday.
LC-M jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in Saturday’s contest, but the Caldwell batters answered with the top of the third inning for a 3-2 lead.
As the Bears started the bottom of the third inning, lightning forced the game into a temporary 30-minute weather delay, which eventually extended into a seven-hour delay. The decision was made to move the game from Humble to Franklin, which is north of Bryan.
It appeared as if the delay would benefit Caldwell as the Hornets added another run and led 4-2 following five innings and had runners on base in scoring position in the top of the sixth, but LC-M tightened up and kept the runners from scoring.
It turned out to be a pivotal moment as the Bears struck for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 7-4 lead and held Caldwell in check in the top of the seventh inning to secure the victory.
Silsbee defeated Navasota in its three game series to advance to this week’s round against LC-M. Silsbee lost game one, 1-0, but won game two, 5-3, and game three, 3-1.
LC-M and Silsbee will play a one-game, winner-take-all series at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 19, in Jasper.
The winner of the LC-M and Silsbee contest will take on the winner of the Jasper and Carthage matchup in the Regional Semifinal.