Cardinals, Bears advance to Regional Semifinals
By Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record
Two local baseball teams continue their impressive run in the state high school baseball playoffs for another week.
The Bridge City Cardinals and Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears and the each won their respective baseball series in the Class 4A Region III Regional Quarterfinals this past weekend to advance to the fourth round of the high school playoffs.
The Regional Quarterfinals this past weekend featured all four representatives of District 24-4A.
In a battle of District 24-4A rivals, the Cardinals defeated the West Orange-Stark Mustangs in a best of three series and LC-M shocked district champs Silsbee in a winner-take-all game this past Thursday.
The Cardinals dropped game one to the Mustangs on Friday, by a score of 7-0, but swept the double header on Saturday in Jasper, 6-3 and 3-2, to advance to the Region III Regional Semifinals this weekend.
In game one, the Cardinals could not overcome their own mistakes as Bridge City had two errors, allowed seven walks. The Mustangs capitalized on nearly every opportunity and snatched the first game, 7-0, on Friday night.
Things were not looking so good at the start on Saturday, May 21, either, as the Cardinals found themselves trailing 1-0 after the third inning, but a four-run fourth inning was just the spark Bridge City needed on the day to nab a 4-1 lead.
WO-S added two more runs in the top of the fifth inning to narrow the BC lead to one, but the Cardinals were not about to let victory slip away as they added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth to seal the win, 6-3.
In game three, Bridge City jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning and added two more in the top of the second inning for a 3-0 lead over the Mustangs.
However, West Orange-Stark is known for its battle-until-the-end attitude, as the team proved last year on its way to the State tournament in Austin, and wasn’t about to give up.
Over the course of the remainder of the game, the Mustangs churned out two runs, but it wasn’t enough as Tanner Doiron struck out four on just three hits to get the win and help propel the Cardinals to the next round.
Bridge City will next face Waco Robinson, the No. 4 ranked team in Class 4A, which defeated Lufkin Hudson, 2-1, in a best of three game series. Robinson won games two and three, 10-3 and 9-2, respectively, after dropping game one 4-2.
Bridge City and Robinson will play a three game series this week with game one taking place at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 26 at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Game two will be at 5 p.m., Saturday, May 28, at College Park High School, 3701 College Park Drive, Conroe, with game three, if necessary, to take place 30 minutes following game two.
The Bears, the fourth place representative from the district, defeated district champions, the Silsbee Tigers, 7-2, Thursday, May 19, in Jasper in a one-game, winner-take-all series.
LC-M wasted little time asserting itself and jumped out to a quick start as the Bears scored two runs in the bottom of the first and added another in the bottom of the second inning for a 3-0 lead.
Bears pitcher Mitchell Lee was nearly unstoppable from the mound as he held the Tigers potent offensive lineup in check, while pitching a complete game with seven strikeouts.
LC-M continued to take apart the Tigers pitching staff as the Bears led 7-0 following the fifth inning, which was all the team would need this night. The Bears finished with nine hits for the game.
Silsbee scored a run in the top of the sixth inning and its final run in the top of the seventh inning.
LC-M will now take on the Jasper Bulldogs, the champions of District 20-4A, in the Region III Regional Semifinals. Jasper defeated Carthage 2-1 in a one-game series this past weekend.
LC-M and Jasper will meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 26, at Don Gibbons Field at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School in a one-game, winner-take-all series.
The winner of the LC-M and Jasper game will advance to the Region III Regional Finals to face the winner of the Bridge City and Waco Robinson contest.