Certa-Bearden Classic played at WOS
Last updated 3/6/2023 at 12:10pm
The Certa-Bearden Classic was held the first weekend in March. The annual baseball tournament featured seven high school teams playing four games each during the three days on the newly named Andre Robertson Field at Ronnie Anderson Park on the West Orange Stark High School campus.
Three of the teams competing in the tournament were from Orange County. The Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears, the Orangefield Bobcats, and hosting the tournament the West Orange Stark Mustangs all played well.
Little Cypress Mauriceville had a tough first day on Thursday losing both of its games that day. The Bears lost a close one 6-4 to the Buna Cougars in the early afternoon.
The game was scoreless after two innings when Marco Bandiero and Dean Reynolds both drew walks to begin the top of the third for the Bears. Cameron Bilbo then deposited a pitch over the left-center field fence to give Little Cypress Mauriceville a 3-0 lead.
Parker Seago got the start on the mound for LCM and was very effective for the first four innings striking out five Cougars. Seago gave up two runs in the bottom of the third, and the Bears still led by a run.
In the top of the fifth inning for Little Cypress Mauriceville Reynolds ripped a leadoff double and then stole third. Bilbo hit a sacrifice fly to right field to plate Reynolds which gave the Bears a two-run lead 4-2 going to the bottom of the fifth.
The Cougars tallied four runs in their half of the fifth inning. The last two Buna runs scored with one out on what amounted to a walk off homerun although the game did not end until the two-hour time limit was reached at the end of the actual inning.
The next game for LCM immediately followed against the Orangefield Bobcats a Bears' district opponent the last two years. Orangefield now will play this season in Buna's Class 3A district.
Dean Reynolds was the starting pitcher for Little Cypress Mauriceville. Reynolds got out of the first inning unscathed despite issuing a leadoff walk when he picked the runner off of second base.
Reynolds and the Bears were not so fortunate in the second inning as the Bobcats scored eight runs on four hits, two walks, three hit batters, and an error. LCM was beaten 13-0 by Orangefield.
Friday and Saturday Little Cypress Mauriceville played the opening game in the mornings and fared much better winning both of them. The Bears played the Warren Warriors from Class 3A on Friday morning.
The starting Bear pitcher was Cameron Bilbo. He threw four innings striking out three and giving up a lone run in the first inning. Samuel Palmer was outstanding in his one inning of relief striking out three and surrendering only a single.
The Bear bats busted out big time in this ball game. LCM scored three runs in the first, four in the second, one in the fourth, and finished with three more runs in the fifth to finish on top 11-1 over the Warriors.
Leading the Bears' hit parade was Parker Freeman with a double in the first and a triple in the fourth. Marco Bandiero had a double and three runs batted in. Parker Seago went three for four reaching base all four times he was up and scoring two runs.
The next morning was another thriller like the first game of the tournament was for Little Cypress Mauriceville. The Bears faced a very good Class 4A Liberty Panthers team.
Five runs in the top of the first by Liberty did not bid well for LCM. To their credit the Bears answered with two runs in the last of the first thanks to Pierce Brown's first homerun of his high school career which also scored Parker Seago who had walked in front of him.
Pitcher Landon Richards settled down after that shaky first and gave up solo runs in the third and fourth innings. Richards struck eight Panthers in his four innings of work on the mound.
The Bears battled back and tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with five runs. Clay Raney started the rally with a single, Seago followed with a bunt single, and Brown singled to drive in the first run of the inning.
Dean Reynolds walked with two outs to load the bases and causing Liberty to make a change in pitchers. Cameron Bilbo blasted the first pitch from the reliever to the left field fence for a bases clearing double to make the score 7-6. Bilbo scored the tying run on a hit by Parker Freeman.
Samuel Palmer relieved Richards as the LCM pitcher and held the Panthers scoreless in the fifth. Justin McCarver made an excellent running catch in deep right field for the Bears.
Seago singled up the middle with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Marco Bandiero hit a line drive to right that bounced past the Liberty outfielder allowing Seago to score all the way from first to give the Bears the lead for the first time in the game.
Reynolds received another base on balls to put Bears on first and second with two outs. For the second straight inning Bilbo boomed a ball to the fence this time to right center bringing home Bandiero and Reynolds that gave Little Cypress Mauriceville an exciting come from behind 10-7 victory as the time limit was called after Bilbo's blow.
Probably the most dominating performance in this year's Certa-Bearden Classic was done by the Orangefield Bobcats. In four games the Bobcats outscored their opponents 39 to 4 obviously winning all four of them.
The most decisive win for Orangefield was the game on Thursday against Little Cypress Mauriceville a 13-0 shutout. Bobcat ace pitcher Jason Bodin started and pitched three innings allowing just one hit, walking three, and striking out five. Matthew Johnson threw the final two shutout innings retiring all six Bears he faced and striking out two.
Kyle Michael drove in two of the eight second inning runs for the Bobcats and later hit a two-run homer in the fourth. Rusten Traxler doubled in the second to bring home the first Orangefield run and later in the same inning hit a hard shot that was ruled an error to bring home the final two runs of the inning.
Things were a little tighter for the Bobcats against Liberty on Friday. Brycen Tait scattered seven hits over six shutout innings to get the win on the mound for Orangefield.
The Bobcats had trouble hitting against Liberty's starter until the fourth. Rusten Traxler walked and Jason Bodin courtesy ran for him. Caleb Fregia sacrificed Bodin to second and Matthew Johnson singled him home for the first run of the game.
Orangefield got three runs in the fifth. Cameron Dearing led off with a single and Kyle Michael hit a blooper to right that fell just fair for a hit. Two walks loaded the bases before Fregia and Johnson delivered runs batted in for the Bobcats to give them a more comfortable 4-0 lead which proved to be the final score.
Later that same afternoon Orangefield played the Beaumont United Timberwolves. The Bobcats won 12-3 using three pitchers and multiple substitutes in the game.
Garrett Rawls started the game for Orangefield getting the win going three and two third innings, striking out six, and being charged with all three runs by United. Colten Myers struck out three T-Wolves in his inning and a third while Camden Fountain had two strike outs in one inning.
The Bobcats scored their runs in bunches tallying three in each of the first, third, fourth, and sixth innings. Caleb Fregia, Kane Smith, Cameron Dearing, and Kyle Michael all managed multiple hits in the game. Orangefield stole ten bases and Dearing had three of them.
The final game of the tournament was played between Orangefield and the West Orange Stark Mustangs. The Bobcats scored in every inning and once again got great pitching in a 10-0 shutout.
Colten Myers threw four shutout innings to earn the victory for the Bobcats. Myers gave up two hits, walked no one, and struck out five Mustangs. Matthew Johnson struck out the side in the fifth, his only inning on the mound.
Cameron Dearing hit two doubles, scored a run, and drove in a run. Caleb Fregia had two hits including a double resulting in two runs batted in.
The loss in the closing game of the Certa-Bearden Classic did not really take away from a well-played tournament by West Orange Stark. The Mustangs played .500 ball splitting their four games.
Thursday night the Mustangs bombed Beaumont United 17-2 invoking the fifteen-run rule after four innings in the victory. The game was tied 2-2 after one inning but WOS started to pull away in the second with five runs adding two more in the third. West Orange Stark scored eight runs in the fourth to bring the early end to the game.
Senior Tyrone Wilson pitched all four innings for the Mustangs. Wilson surrendered only two doubles to the T-Wolves, walked three, and struck out six to get the win for WOS.
Wilson contributed to the Mustangs' offense as well walking his first three trips to the plate before singling and scoring for the fourth time in the fourth. Noah Robles hit a triple that drove in two runs in the fourth, walked twice, and scored three runs. Diego Ibarra went three for three with a walk and a double driving in four runs.
On Friday night West Orange Stark played the Buna Cougars who had already won their first two games of the tournament over Class 4A Little Cypress Mauriceville and Class 6A Beaumont United. Buna made it three straight against larger schools defeating the Mustangs 13-2.
The Mustangs scored the first run of the game when Tyrone Wilson tripled to the right field corner to start the bottom of the first inning. William Lee singled Wilson home to give WOS a 1-0 lead.
Buna got two runs in the second and then hit two homeruns in a six-run third to go ahead 8-1. Lee worked a two out walk in the bottom of the third which was the first of four straight base on balls the last to Travarri Beasley brought home the Mustangs' final run.
Noah Robles and David Robledo were the pitchers for West Orange Stark. Robles went the first four and a third innings and Robledo finished the game.
West Orange Stark played the last two games of the tournament on Saturday. The Mustangs edged the Warren Warriors in the afternoon 5-4 for their second win.
For the third straight game West Orange Stark scored in the first inning. Just as he did against Buna Tyrone Wilson started the inning with a triple to right. Noah Robles hit a long fly to left that scored Wilson with the initial run for the Mustangs.
Diego Ibarra was the pitcher for the Mustangs going seven innings to get a much deserved win. Ibarra retired the first eleven Warrior batters before an infield single gave them their first base runner in the fourth inning. A balk called on Diego and a hit to center tied the score 1-1 for Warren.
West Orange Stark responded in the bottom of the fourth. The Mustangs loaded the bases with no outs but the Warriors turned a double play that included a force out at home to leave runners at second and third with two outs. Zach Nation hit a perfectly placed looping fly ball to right that landed just inside the foul line scoring Andrew Wilson and Travarri Beasley as WOS grabbed a 3-1 lead.
In the sixth inning the Warriors got only their third hit of the game and the ball got past Beasley in left. The batter tried to stretch the hit and error into three bases, but Wilson's relay throw from Beasley to third nailed him for the third out of the inning.
The bottom of the sixth saw the Mustangs pad their lead. Wilson and Beasley walked in front of a single by Carlos Calana to load the bases. Nation lined a drive to left field that drove home two runs and gave West Orange Stark a 5-1 lead with an inning to play.
Three errors almost cost the Mustangs in the seventh as Warren scored three runs on one hit. Ibarra induced a Warrior hitter to pop up to first base to end the game.
Saturday night's game for West Orange Stark against Orangefield may have been a bit of a letdown following immediately after the thrilling win over Warren. William Lee was the Mustangs only base runner with a double in the first and a single in the fourth.
This weekend the Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears and the West Orange Stark Mustangs will participate in the local Orange County Classic Tournament. The Orangefield Bobcats will play in the Tatum Tournament.