Bears win a thriller over Lumberton
Last updated 4/12/2022 at 11:48am
The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears won maybe their most important game of the last three seasons under Coach Hunter Hagler with a thrilling 6-5 comeback victory in eight innings over the Lumberton Raiders. The win snapped a three game losing streak and kept the Bears in sole possession of fourth place. The game was played on Saturday instead of Friday night because of a shortage of umpires available to call the game.
The Raiders took a 5-1 lead after fourth innings using two booming homeruns by first baseman Cannon Faulk in the second and fourth innings. The Bears' comeback started in the fifth.
Parker Seago singled to start the rally, and Pierce Brown followed with a double down the left field line. Reid Peco singled both of them home to cut the Lumberton lead to two runs.
Cameron Bilbo hit a solo homerun to begin the bottom of the sixth to make the score 5-4 in favor of the Raiders. LCM tied the game in the seventh and had the potential winning run thrown out at home plate on an inning ending double play fly ball to center field hit by Bilbo.
In the eighth Brown drew a one-out walk. After Brown stole second Marco Bandiero also walked. Brown and Bandiero pulled off a double steal to move the winning run ninety feet away. Dean Reynolds delivered the winning blow when he lined a hit to right field to score Brown as the Bears swarmed onto the field to celebrate their titillating triumph. Bandiero was the winning pitcher throwing three shutout innings in relief of starter Peco.
The coach needed to catch his breath commenting on the dramatic turn of events for Little Cypress-Mauriceville. Hagler gasped, "I can't explain what that win has meant to me and especially these kids. These kids picked me up this week with this one. I can't even explain it, but they picked me up in a big way. As a guy that knows what these kids do every single day and what they put into it every single day and how tight and close that we're growing every single day this was a huge one, this was a huge one!"
The Orangefield Bobcats took sole possession of first place in the local district baseball race last week. The Bobcats won their sixth straight game to gain the top spot all alone.
At the halfway point of the District 22-4A baseball schedule there was a three-way tie for first place. The Orangefield Bobcats, the Bridge City Cardinals, and the Silsbee Tigers all had 5-1 records atop the standings.
The three district leaders were perfect against the other four teams in the district while each suffered their lone loss at the hands of one of the other top three. The Bobcats lost to the Tigers in the district opener, the Cardinals were shutout by the Bobcats in their second game, and the Cardinals handed the Tigers their only loss in the third game.
Friday night, April 8, that changed with the start of the second half of district games. Orangefield beat Silsbee 8-1, and Bridge City lost 10-0 to the Vidor Pirates. Coach Tim Erickson of the Bobcats analyzed the win that put Orangefield by itself in first place. "I thought we had some good at bats today. We had all week to get ready for the Tigers. It was good to see the Bobcats come out and take what we worked on in practice into a ball game," Erickson replied.
The Bobcats opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Kameryn Henderson scored on a bunt single by Tyler Shearin that the Tigers made a bad throw allowing him to come all the way home from second base.
Three more Orangefield runs crossed the plate in the second. Shearin and Kyle Michael both drove in runs that inning.
After Silsbee scored its only run of the game in the fifth, the Bobcats scored two in the bottom half of the inning. Brennon Lecoq walked to start the fifth and went to third on a single by Rusten Traxler before scoring on a force out by Macoy Marze. Another Silsbee error scored pinch runner Camden Fountain.
The Bobcats added two more in the sixth as Michael got the rally going with a leadoff single and scored on Kolbie Sowell's triple to right field. Jason Bodin hit a grounder to first base to bring home Sowell with the final run.
The starting Bobcat pitcher was Bodin who shutout the Tigers for four innings striking out nine batters. Bodin gave up a leadoff hit to Silsbee in the fifth and was relieved by Coop Longron. The lone Tiger run was charged to Bodin who was credited with the victory for Orangefield.
Erickson recognized the excellent fielding and strong pitching by the Bobcats in the win. "The defense was great. Sowell made some great plays at third. Second game in a row for us being error free, that's a big deal in district ball games. We're going to be counting on Bodin just like we have Eaves and Coop for so long, so it was good to see him come out and have a quality start, and then Coop came in and shut the door," Erickson reminded.
Bridge City moved into the tie for first place with a 4-0 win at Little Cypress-Mauriceville over the Bears on Tuesday, April 5. Silsbee beat the Vidor Pirates 4-1 that same night as Orangefield had a bye.
Ethan Oceguera for the Cardinals pitched maybe his best game so far in the district schedule tossing five and a third shutout innings striking out nine Bears to get the win on the mound. Bridge City has won all four district games started by Oceguera with Ethan being credited with the win in three of them.
Bull pen specialist Landon Reeves closed out the win for the Cardinals. Reeves retired all five batters he faced striking out four of them.
Coach Chad Landry saluted Oceguera and Reeves for their work on the mound. "Another tight ball game, another well pitched performance from Ethan and Landon. We only had one walk on the night which is huge for us, and they competed well," Landry praised.
Leadoff batter John Van Huis got Bridge City on the board in the third inning scoring the first run of the game from third base with two outs when a third strike eluded the LCM catcher and allowed JS Bearden to reach base.
Two more Cardinals crossed the plate in the third to take a 3-0 lead. Aidyn Mulhollan had an important sacrifice fly to drive in one of the runs.
The Cardinals closed out the scoring in the sixth inning. JT Fielder got a one out single and an out later Brice Swanton tripled to the right field fence to score hustling pinch runner Hutch Bearden.
Dean Reynolds was the starting pitcher for Little Cypress-Mauriceville. He pitched until Swanton's triple knocked in the fourth Cardinal run in the sixth which was really the only earned run he allowed. "Dean definitely threw well enough to win," LCM Coach Hagler admitted.
Reynolds was also the Bears' best hitter with leadoff doubles in the second and fourth innings. He was left stranded in both innings. Reid Peco singled to start the sixth and got as far as third before Reeves struck out two Bear batters to foil the threat. It was the third straight loss for the Bears
Things did not go nearly as well for Bridge City on Friday at Vidor. The Pirates scored four runs in the first and four more in the second to open up an eight run margin over the Cardinals. Two runs in the fourth and Pirate pitcher Reagan Hallmark finished his shutout to give Vidor a 10-0 win in five innings.
The West Orange-Stark Mustangs remained winless in district and on the season. Lumberton beat the Mustangs 25-0 in the only game West Orange-Stark played last week.
The Bridge City Lady Cardinals continued to fly high remaining undefeated in district with two more wins last week. The Lady Cardinals led second place Little Cypress-Mauriceville by two games in the standings.
Bridge City opened the week with a 4-2 win against cross-county rival the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears. The district leading Lady Cardinals had just a one game lead over LCM when the game began.
Starting pitcher Cami Shugart for the Lady Bears was pulled from the circle in their last game because of soreness on her right side. LCM Coach Dena Adkins switched positions for Shugart with her shortstop Jacelyn Cook in this game against the Lady Cardinals to help Shugart rest the sore muscles in her side.
Bridge City hopped on Cook for two runs in the first inning. Kaylyn Dosch singled, stole second, and got to third on a wild pitch. Makenna Carey walked before Marlie Strong grounded to second base to drive in Dosch with the first run.
A ground out by Brooklyn Droddy moved Carey to third. Carson Fall drew a walk and courtesy runner Lynsie Barg stole second. Nicole Sasser hit a grounder to short that Shugart fielded and attempted to tag Barg running past her. The umpire said no tag was made and Shugart's throw to first to retire the speedy Sasser was not in time allowing Carey to score the second Lady Cardinal run of the inning.
What turned out to be very important insurance runs for Bridge City came home in the fifth. With one out Carey reached on an error and Strong singled. Droddy laid down a bunt and a wild throw to first scored both Carey and Strong to give the Lady Cardinals a 4-0 lead.
Carson Fall had pitched impressive shutouts in her last three games for Bridge City. Fall started like she was going to make it four in a row. She got through the first six innings yielding only a walk to Keylie Washburn in the second, a bunt single to Cook in the fourth, and Ella Stephenson reached on an error in the fifth for the Lady Bears.
Washburn opened the bottom of the seventh with a single. Lexis Moss reached on an error and then stole second base to put runners at second and third with no outs.
Ansley Moore hit a fly to center as Washburn tagged up and scored breaking the shutout while Moss also moved to third. Stephenson put a bunt down that brought Moss home with a second Lady Bear run cutting the Bridge City lead to just two.
Fall finished the inning with her sixteenth strikeout to end the game. "Carson is a perfectionist. She's so hard on herself. She did a good job early on and every now and again we're going to have a couple bad innings for sure," Lady Cardinal Coach Raven Harris explained.
Coach Adkins was proud of the effort shown by the Lady Bears in the seventh. "That's what I told my girls at the end. I was proud of the fight they still had left in them, they never got down, never got discouraged, they knew they were facing a very good pitcher in Carson Fall, but they never gave up," Adkins commended.
The week's second win was more impressive for Bridge City as it blasted the Lady Pirates 12-0 in Vidor. Fall pitched the shutout for the Lady Cardinals striking out 12 batters in just five innings.
The hitting stars for the Lady Cardinals included Kaylyn Dosch smacking three hits with three runs batted in, Makenna Carey slapping three hits accounting for three runs, and Hannah Murchison collecting two hits resulting in three runs. The win clinched at least a playoff berth for Bridge City with finishing in first place still the primary goal.
The Lady Bears bounced back from their loss to the Lady Cardinals with a huge 7-2 win at home against the third place Lumberton Lady Raiders. The victory keeps LCM just two games behind first place Bridge City and extended the Lady Bears' lead to two games over the Lady Raiders.
Good news for the Lady Bears was the return of Cami Shugart to the circle as their starting pitcher. Shugart pitched a complete game against Lumberton after being moved to shortstop in the previous game to help relax sore muscles in her side.
Shugart also delivered at the plate with two hits including a triple. Lexis Moss smashed two doubles and Ansley Moore had two hits while collecting two runs batted in for the Lady Bears.
The woes for the Orangefield Lady Bobcats continued on Friday. The Silsbee Lady Tigers came to Orangefield and beat the Lady Bobcats 6-5 for only the Lady Tigers' second win in district. The loss was the third straight for Orangefield.
The game came down to the final inning with Orangefield leading 3-2 and two outs. Three straight hits, an error, and another hit resulted in four Lady Tigers' runs and them taking a 6-3 lead.
Harleigh Rawls hit her second two-run homerun of the game in the bottom of the seventh, but the Lady Bobcats fell short by a run. Orangefield at 3-5 trails Vidor which is 4-5 by half a game for fourth place in the district seeding for a position in the post season.
The West Orange-Stark Lady Mustangs came up short against Lumberton 16-2 on Tuesday, April 5, in their lone game of the week. Rayven Gales hit a triple and scored one of the two Lady Mustang runs. Ariel Farris scored the other run. Laila Mims had an RBI and Paris Overstreet got two singles for West Orange-Stark.