By Dave Rogers

For The Record

In nearly a decade and a half on the job, Chad Landry knows baseball coaching.

It’s coming in handy with the 2017 Bridge City Cardinals.

He said “never” in 14 years as a head coach, nine of them at BC, has he had a team this young.

Eleven of the Cardinals’ 15 varsity players are new this year, about what you’d expect after losing 12 seniors from last year’s Region III-4A semifinalist.

“It takes a good mixture of patience and knowledge,” Landry admitted. “But I like it, because there’s a lot more teaching and small things we focus on a lot.

“Our guys are buying in. They want to listen and learn a lot.”

Catcher Schuyler Thibodaux, a junior and third-year starter, leads BC at the plate and in the field. He is hitting .512 this season with 22 runs batted in, many of those coming on his 10 doubles.

Friday night, in a tough 6-4 win over Jasper, Thibodaux went 3 for 3 and knocked in a pair of runs with a homer and a double.

He also got the game’s final out, throwing out a baserunner at third on a strikeout-throw out double play.

Justyn Romero picked up the save with two final-inning strikeouts and Taran Burch won the game in relief with 2.1 one-hit innings pitched.

For the season, Caleb Dubois (.395 average, 14 RBIs) and Logan Hamm (.324) lead the team in hitting. Hamm is the team’s winningest pitcher at 3-2 while Jacob Goodman (2-1, 1.90 ERA) is the busiest pitcher and Romero had a 1.167 ERA heading into district play.

BC’s usual lineup includes Burch at shortstop, Gavin Green at second, Hamm and Goodman alternating at third with Dubois and Jackson Tims platooning at first. Outfielders are Kevin Gordon in left, Brady Coulter in right and Romero in center.

The Cardinals got their first District 22-4A test Tuesday night when they took on Silsbee. Friday night they’ll travel to Little Cypress-Mauriceville.

“Our district is going to be tough, but our young guys are getting better all the time,” Landry said. “If we get guys on base in front of Dubois and Thibodeaux, we should be OK.”

Bridge City has won its district title six years in a row.

No. 7 is the goal, Landry said.

“Winning district is our goal every year,” he said. “No matter what kind of bullets we’ve got, the goal is the district title.

“There are only 10 district games and they’re squeezed into a five-week period. You’ve got to be ready to go.”