Cards and Cats tied 1-1 in playoffs
The Bridge City Cardinals and the Orangefield Bobcats will meet for a fifth and fateful game Saturday in the best-of-three Region III quarterfinal playoff finale scheduled for 7 p.m. at Vidor High School. The Cardinals won Game One of the series 5-1. The Bobcats answered back with a 5-4 win in Game Two.
Cardinal pitcher Matt Hicks went the distance in Game One holding the hard hitting Bobcats to a single score, with seven strike-outs giving up six hits on 102 pitches. At bat Hicks was just as dangerous going 4-3 at the plate that included two doubles.
The Cardinals struck first in the top of the second inning. Caleb Kellogg bounced a Jacob Felts pitch off the left field wall for a triple. Blake Snyder singled to score Kellog.
In the top of the third Cardinal left fielder Luke Rhodes connected for a two run homer to score Hicks from second. Senior third baseman Blake Hubbard doubled and reached third on a Bobcat error. Kellogg doubled to score Hubbard for a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning Bobcat outfielder Derrick Evans reached third and scampered home on a wild pitch to put a point on the board for Orangefield.
In the top of the sixth inning Hicks doubled to left center and stole third. Hicks took advantage of a Bobcat error to reach home for the fifth and final score.
Game Two began like a repeat of Game One. With Orangefield ace Jace Statum on the mound Bridge City scored twice in the bottom of the first inning. Cardinal infielder Joseph Robertson singled and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hicks. Hubbard smashed a Statum pitch for a two run homer for an early 2-0 lead.
Statum was undaunted. The Bobcats scored twice in the top of the third. Evans doubled off of Cardinal pitcher Forest Zoch. Statum doubled to score Evans. Statum scored on a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Deramus for a 2-2 ball game. Snyder relieved Zoch on the mound for Bridge City.
Statum kept Cardinal bats at bay through the fifth inning. The Bobcats increased their lead in the top of the sixth. Felts was walked and stole second. He reached third on a Cardinal error and touched home base on another for a 3-2 lead. Bobcat outfielder Zach Peevey drew a walk and advance to second. Quinton Evans brought him home with a two run homer and the Bobcats were up 5-2.
Bridge City battled back in the bottom of the inning with two more runs. Hicks was walked and Luke Rhodes slammed a two run homer over the right field fence.
It was three-up and three-down for Statum who ended the night for the Cardinals to force Game Three, Saturday.