The Bridge City Little League All-Stars defeated Arkansas 12-4

to win Game One of the Southwestern Regional Tournament championship in

Waco at Norcross Stadium Saturday morning.

Jonah Watts pitched 5 2/3 innings to shut down the Arkansas Little

League Champions. Chase Shuggart smacked two homers and came in to

relieve Watts for the last out of the ball game.

Bridge City scored in each frame with 3 runs in the first and second

innings, 1 run in the third and fourth innings and then exploded with a

big four-run fifth inning.

The Bridge City Little League 11- and 12-year-old boys All-Stars have gone further than any boys’ all-star team in Bridge City Little League history.

As the Texas East state champs, Bridge City now square off against just three more teams on their way to the Little League World Series, to be televised on ESPN Aug. 13. But first, they must conquer the Southwestern Regional Tournament championship. 

Bridge City will pick-up again in Game Two with a 5 p.m. Sunday game with New Mexico and an 8 p.m. Monday game with the Colorado champs.

Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas West make up the rest of the field.

“No matter what happens in Waco I can promise this,” says Coach Ronnie Shugart. “No team will play harder and if you want to beat us you better shoot us in the head ‘cause we aren’t going to quit.”

The boys have been working on all the little things this week, Shugart says, focusing on relays, being in the proper spots and baserunning. 

“As far as making history, before every game we play we talk about adding another chapter,” he says. “We have several more chapters to write before we get the fairy tale ending we want. This week at practice – even with all the distractions – the boys are more focused than I’ve ever seen them.”

The dream for a state championship was kept alive last week in Tyler.

The All-Stars rallied to defeat Lamar National 5-3 July 28 for a chance to play again for all the marbles. On the 29th, the scrappy All-Stars came back and whipped Lamar National 3-2 to advance to the Waco.

In Game 2, trailing 3-1 in the top of the sixth inning, Bryce Carey, 12, described by Shugart as the team’s best fastball hitter; connected on a homerun pitch for a grand slam with two outs and two strikes against him, sparking Bridge City into the lead.

After that, BC held Lamar National with defensive play and good pitching.

The all-star squad previously lost to Lamar National 12-1, but rebounded later to win 6-1 over Northwest and defeated First Colony 7-6 to advance to Tyler.