Cardinals tame Tigers twice in district
Last updated 3/18/2023 at 9:34pm
The district opener on Wednesday, March 15, pitted two of the best teams in District 19-4A. The Bridge City Cardinals got a two out hit in the ninth inning to beat the Silsbee Tigers 1-0 at Chuck Young Field in Bridge City.
The game was a classic pitchers' duel as the Cardinals went with their ace Braylen Collins and the Tigers threw their best pitcher Logan Simmons. There was no scoring until the game went into extra innings.
Collins pitched six and two third innings for Bridge City giving up only four hits, walking two, hitting one batter, and striking out 15 Tigers. Cardinal Coach Chad Landry observed, "That's his best outing of his high school career. The sky's the limit for Braylen. He's a young seventeen year old and the future is really bright for him. His last two outings have been phenomenal and we're going to keep building on that. He's really fun to watch out there on the mound."
Landon Reeves came on in relief for the Cardinals getting the third out in the seventh, then threw two shutout innings with three strikeouts to close the game, and earn the win. "I'm really proud of Landon recovering from an arm injury from when he was hit by a baseball. He threw about thirty pitches last weekend in the Jasper tournament. We felt he would be our guy to go to late in a game. His curve ball is really good, he has an elite hook, and he did a great job for us. He just competed and did not give up a hit," Landry recognized.
Silsbee's Simmons handcuffed the Cardinals in his eight innings of work allowing just two hits, two walks, a hit batter, while striking out 10 Cardinals. Bridge City greeted the Silsbee reliever in the bottom of the ninth with the only run of the game.
Justin Abate lined a one-out single to left in the ninth off the new Tiger pitcher Van Mitchell. Dax Latiolais followed with a walk to move Abate into scoring position at second base. Grant Hale was sent in as a courtesy runner for Justin.
JS Bearden hit a drive to center field that had the Bridge City faithful on their feet thinking it might be the game winner. The ball went right to Silsbee centerfielder Jayden Miller who made the catch for the second out.
Aidyn Mulhollan was next up and lined a three-two pitch up the middle into center field. Miller made a very good throw from centerfield to the plate but Hale slid home just in time scoring the only run of the game for the Cardinals and the victory. Landry praised, "Really proud of Mulhollan at the end there with two strikes and two outs for his big hit, big hit from that kid."
Coach Landry said winning a tough game like this one makes it that much more enjoyable. "We preach to the Cardinals a lot that winning is never easy, and we never want it to become old hat. We're going to celebrate our wins and we're going to enjoy the moment just so these guys don't get settled in with that process. It was a great atmosphere here tonight. The kids fought their tails off and it was a lot of fun," Landry replied.
With the scheduling arrangement being used this season in District 19-4A the two teams played again on Friday. The Bridge City Cardinals traveled to Silsbee and won their second district game 11-4. JS Bearden was one of the hitting stars going three for three with five runs batted in for Bridge City.
This week the Cardinals and the Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears will play two games against each other. Tuesday’s game was at Don Gibbens Field at LCM and on Friday, March 24, they will play at Chuck Young Field in Bridge City. These will be the first two district games for the Bears who had their byes during the first week of district action.
West Orange Stark opened its district against cross-county rival the Vidor Pirates. The Mustangs failed to score a run in the two games being shutout 10-0 on Tuesday in Vidor and 5-0 on Friday at West Orange Stark.
The Mustangs play the Lumberton Raiders this week. Tuesday’s game was at home and Friday’s game will be at Lumberton.