By Tommy Mann Jr. – The Record

The Bridge City Cardinals baseball machine is on the march and moving on to the next round of the Class 4A baseball playoffs following a sweep of the Liberty Panthers this past weekend.

The Cardinals defeated the Panthers 7-4 in game one on Friday evening in Liberty, and then secured a trip to the Area round of the playoffs with a 6-1, game two victory at home on Saturday, May 7.

Cardinals pitcher Tanner Doiron had four strikeouts during Saturday’s outing, while the Bridge City batters collected 10 hits against the Panthers pitching staff. Liberty scored its only run in the top of the fifth inning following a bad throw that pushed a Panthers baserunner across the plate.

Bridge City, the runner-up team from District 24-4A, adances to the Area round and will take on the Bellville Brahmas, the District 21-4A champions. Bellville defeated Houston Scarborough, the fourth place team from District 22-4A, in the Bi-District round of the playoffs by a score of 24-1.

The Cardinals and Brahmas will play a three- game series this weekend with game one at 7 p.m., Friday, at Goose Creek Memorial High School in Baytown. Game two will be at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 14, in Baytown with game three to follow 30 minutes after the completion of game two, if it is necessary.

The West Orange-Stark Mustangs wasted little time in establishing its playoff momentum this past Friday, May 6, with a 14-2 victory over the Splendora Wildcats in the one-game Bi-District series victory.

Behind the dominant pitching of junior Jack Dallas, who had 11 strikeouts from the mound, the Mustangs kept the Wildcats in check and dominated every phase of the game on Friday, as the team hopes to make another trip to Austin and the Class 4A State Championship game.

With the Mustangs leading 2-1 following three innings, the WO-S bats came alive  in the top of the fourth inning and added the remainder of the runs and led 14-2 after four innings.

West Orange-Stark clinched the game after the fifth inning courtesy of the 10-run rule.

The West Orange-Stark Mustangs will face the Giddings Buffaloes next, the fourth place team from District 21-4A. Giddings swept Houston Furr by scores of 15-1 and 16-0 in the Bi-district round to advance to the Area round against the Mustangs.

The three-game series will take place at Porter High School in New Caney with game one at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 12. Game two will be at 5 p.m., Friday, May 13, and game three, if necessary, will start 30 minutes following the end of game two.

The winners of the Bridge City and Caldwell series and the West Orange-Stark and Giddings series will collide the following week in the Region III Regional quarterfinals of the Class 4A baseball playoffs.

The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears shocked the Huffman-Hargrave Falcons this past Saturday with a come-from-behind 9-7 victory at Gibbons Field on the campus of LC-M High Schoool.

Trailing the No. 9 state-ranked Falcons 5-0 midway through the fifth inning, the Bears made a dramatic comeback and scored seven runs in the bottom of the fifth-inning courtesy of two Huffman-Hargrave erros and a Mitchell Lee home run which knotted the game up at 5-5.

The Bears added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, which was exactly what the team needed as it held off a comeback attempt by the Falcons in the top of the seventh inning to clinch the game.

The Falcons, the champions of District 23-4A, displayed its offensive firepower early and often as the team scored runs in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings before the Bears mounted their exciting comeback.

LC-M will now face the Caldwell Hornets, the third place team in District 21-4A, which defeated Houston Washington 28-0 in its Bi-district contest this past weekend.

The Bears and Hornets will face off in a three-game series beginning at 7 p.m., Friday, May 13, at Humble Summer Creek High School in Humble. Game two will be at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 14, in Humble with game three to follow 30 minutes after completion of game two, if necessary.

The winner of the LC-M and Caldwell series will advance to the Region III Regional quarterfinals of the Class 4A baseball playoffs and face the winner of the Silsbee and Navasota series.