By Tommy Mann Jr. – The Record

One local team’s quest for a state baseball championship continues, while another local team’s season came to an abrupt end this past weekend.

The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears won 5-4 over the Jasper Bulldogs in thrilling fashion this past Saturday, while the Bridge City Cardinals were just two outs away from a victory which slipped from their grasp as the Cardinals lost to the Waco Robinson Rockets, 6-5.

LC-M’s victory on Saturday at Gibbens Field at LC-M High School came in the bottom of the eighth inning with the bases loaded when third baseman Michael Lee was hit by a pitch, which sent the game winning run across home plate and the celebration began on field.

The Bulldogs jumped out front with two runs in the top of the third inning, but the Bears answered with two of their own as Lee jacked a two run homer to tie the score in the bottom of the third.

Jasper added another run in the top of the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead, but the Bears responded with a run and evened the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the inning.

Lee continued to plague the Bulldogs as the Bears were trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth before Lee dropped a hit shallow to right field for another game-tying run, which made the score 4-4.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, batter Drake Trawhon smacked a double to get on base for the Bears and then advanced to third base following a wild pitch. The Bulldogs walked the next two LC-M batters, which brought Lee back to the plate. Lee was hit by the first pitch from the Jasper relief pitcher and the Trawhon came home for the winning run.

The Bears victory over Jasper sends the team to the Region III Regional Finals against the No. 4 state-ranked Waco Robinson Rockets. The Bears and Rockets will meet in a best-of-three-game series. Game one will be at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 2, at College Park High School, which is located at 3701 College Park Drive in Conroe. Game two will be 5 p.m., Friday, June 3, at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. If necessary, game three will follow 30 minutes after the completion of game two.

The winner of the LC-M and Waco Robinson game will represent Region III in the Class 4A State Championship tournament to be held the following week at the University of Texas in Austin.

The Cardinals had Waco Robinson on the ropes in the bottom of the seventh inning before two unfortunate errors lead to two unearned runs giving the Rockets a come from behind, 6-5, victory over Bridge City this past Saturday, May 28, at Cougar Field in Houston.

With one out in the top of the seventh inning, the Cardinals lead 5-4. However, two errors and a wild pitch helped advance runners already on base and then a grounder to centerfield by Robinson’s Tanner James brought in the two runs and gave the Rockets the come-from-behind victory.

Bridge City looked unstoppable much of the game as the Cardinals lead from the start, which included scoring three runs in the top of the first inning and a 3-2 lead after one. The Cardinals managed to maintain the lead all the way until the final inning, when misfortune struck.

The Cardinals finished the season with a record of 24-10-1 and finished in second place in District 24-4A.