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By Dan Perrine
For the Record 

Baseball tournaments final preparation for district action


Last updated 3/13/2023 at 12:55pm

Garrett Rawls struck out the last batter in a district win for Orangefield before combining with another Bobcat pitcher to throw a no-hitter over the weekend

District baseball action started this week for four local high school teams. The Bridge City Cardinals, the Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears, and the West Orange Stark Mustangs will compete in District 19-4A and the Orangefield Bobcats in District 22-3A.

Orangefield played its first district game Tuesday, March 7, against the Kirbyville Wildcats. The Bobcats beat the Wildcats 11-0 at Kirbyville.

Brycen Tait started the game for the Bobcats and got the win throwing four shutout innings allowing one hit, walking one, and striking out six. Garrett Rawls pitched the final inning and got a strike out to end the game.

The Bobcats had eleven hits in the game. The big inning was the second when Orangefield scored seven runs. Kane Smith, Kyle Michael, and Caleb Fregia had key hits during the rally.

Tournaments occupied the weekend's action for all four local teams. Little Cypress Mauriceville and West Orange Stark were the host teams for the Orange County Classic with five other area schools participating in the tournament.

West Orange Stark opened up against the very good Woodville Eagles on Thursday night losing 8-0 at Ronnie Anderson Park. Four Eagle pitchers combined for the shutout. The Mustangs got just two hits with a single in the fourth by Travarri Beasly who also walked twice and a double by Noah Robles to lead off the sixth when the Mustangs left the bases loaded to end the game.

Little Cypress Mauriceville had its Thursday game cancelled when an eighth school backed out of the tournament. The Bears played two games on Friday winning both in blowouts 11-1 over the Good Samaritan Hornets and 15-0 against the High Island Cardinals.

The Mustangs got a terrific pitching performance from Tyrone Wilson on Friday night. Wilson had not yielded a hit going into the final inning and finished with a one-hitter in West Orange Stark's 14-0 win over the Shepherd Pirates.

West Orange Stark scored ten runs in the first inning and coasted to a 15-1 win on Saturday against High Island. Noah Robles scored three runs and Tyrone Wilson drove in four Mustangs with two hits and a sacrifice fly.

Another great pitching exhibition was given by Grayson Gregory for the Mustangs. Gregory retired the first thirteen batters he faced and lost his no-hit bid against High Island in the seventh inning. In his six and one third innings Grayson gave up one run on one hit, with three walks, a hit batter, and ten strikeouts.

West Orange Stark Coach Sergio Espinal was obviously pleased with the way the Mustangs played in their two tournaments leading up to the start of district. "We're doing a good job getting on base. Our bats woke up the last couple of games, we're putting balls in play which is what we need to do especially when we start to face tough pitching. The Mustangs are doing a good job defensively. We still need to get better and there are some situations that we need to correct. Overall, I've been pleased with our defense and pitching let's just see if we can continue and be consistent with it," Espinal evaluated.

The Bears played two games on Saturday losing 9-3 to Woodville before scoring eleven runs in the first inning against the Shepherd Pirates to win 11-2 in their final game. The highlight blow of the LCM first inning was a line drive two-run homerun to right field by Marco Bandiero. Cameron Bilbo, Dylan Istre, and Parker Freeman combined to throw five innings for Little Cypress Mauriceville giving up just two hits and two unearned runs while striking out ten Pirate batters.

The tournament allowed Coach Hunter Hagler to play all of his Bears in preparation for the start of the district. "I think there's still some things we need to correct and continue to work on making sure we're grinding each day just to get better winning each pitch. We want to stay locked in and focused on what we're doing and how we're trying to achieve different things. I think we played all right, but I think we could have played better though," Hagler analyzed.

The Bridge City Cardinals had their final tune up for district at the Jasper Tournament over the weekend. The Cardinals won three games all by lopsided scores outscoring the opposition 30-4 in the tournament.

The Orangefield Bobcats interrupted their district schedule over the weekend by participating in the Tatum Tournament. The Bobcats went undefeated winning all four games they played to improve their record to 10-3 on the season.

The Bobcats shutout Gladewater Sabine 8-0 on Thursday. Colton Myers got the win for Orangefield throwing four and a third innings with reliever Matthew Johnson getting the last two outs.

Orangefield won two games on Friday both by scores of 10-1, and the Bobcat pitchers did not give up a hit in either game. Garrett Rawls and Camden Fountain combined in the first game for a no-hitter before Jason Bodin threw a five-inning no-hitter in the second game that day.

Brycen Tait got a complete game victory 6-3 on Saturday as Orangefield defeated Carthage. Catcher Rusten Traxler went three for three with a homerun, a double, and two runs batted in to lead the Bobcat offense.

Mustang Grayson Gregory allowed just one hit and struck out 10 in his win against Sabine Pass on Saturday in the Orange County Classic Baseball Tournament

The District 19-4A baseball schedule will be different this season. Schools will play the same opposing team on Tuesday and Friday during a week instead of playing each school once before facing them again in the second half of the district schedule.

The Bridge City Cardinals open with the Silsbee Tigers. They played on Tuesday at Bridge City and will go at it again on Friday at Silsbee.

The West Orange Stark Mustangs played Tuesday at Vidor. The Mustangs and the Pirates play again on Friday night at Ronnie Anderson Park.

Little Cypress Mauriceville has a bye this week. The Bears play their first district games the week of March 21 and 24 against the Cardinals. The Tuesday game will be at Little Cypress Mauriceville and Friday will be in Bridge City.

The Orangefield Bobcats traveled to Winnie for a game with the East Chambers Buccaneers on Tuesday. The Bobcats play at home against the Warren Warriors this Friday with the varsity game to start at 7:00 PM at Paul Cormier Field.


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