Bobcats clinch third straight title in baseball
Last updated 4/25/2023 at 7:31pm
For the third straight season the Orangefield Bobcats are the champions of their district in baseball. After capturing their Class 4A district title the last two seasons the Bobcats won the District 22-3A baseball championship last week.
Orangefield took a decisive step closer to the district title on Tuesday, April 17, with a 10-0 win over the Hardin Hornets at Paul Cormier Field. The victory raised the Bobcats to 12-0 in district to clinch the outright title with no chance of another team even tying Orangefield for first place.
Senior Morgan Sampson got the starting assignment on the mound for the Bobcats and he responded pitching three scoreless innings allowing three hits, no walks, and striking out seven to get the win for Orangefield. Colton Myers pitched two innings with four strikeouts, and Garrett Rawls threw one inning walking one and striking out one Hornet batter to complete the shutout.
Orangefield opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Logan Cheek was hit by a pitch, was sacrificed to second by Cameron Dearing, and scored on a base hit to right by Kyle Michael.
Two runs were added in the third by Orangefield. With one out Dearing hit a sinking liner to left that skipped by the Hardin outfielder allowing Cameron to reach second base on the single and an error.
Michael walked and then the Bobcats pulled off a double steal with Dearing taking third and Michael going to second. Sampson hit a long fly to left to bring home Dearing after he tagged up to make the score 2-0 for Orangefield.
Rusten Traxler walked before Jason Bodin singled to left center. Michael came home on Bodin's hit to put the Bobcats up 3-0 after three innings.
Michael started a rally in the fifth with a leadoff stand-up double. Gavin Pollack smacked a base hit to left that Michael could only advance one base to third.
Bodin drove in Kyle from third with his second hit of the game. Mason Houghton pinch ran for Pollack and scored on a sacrifice fly by Caleb Fregia to give Orangefield a 5-0 lead through the fifth.
The Bobcats iced the game in the sixth inning scoring five runs. Cheek got things started with a single that glanced off the Hardin pitcher. Dearing and Michael singled to score the first run, Sampson was hit by a pitch, Bodin knocked in two more runs with his third hit of the game, and a Hardin error allowed the last two runs to come home invoking the 10-run rule and giving the game to Orangefield.
The Bobcats played Kountze on Monday of this week and won again in shutout fashion 12-0 in five innings at Paul Cormier Field. The Bobcats improved to 13-0 in district with only a game played on Tuesday, April 25, at home against the Anahuac Panthers before the playoffs start next week.
Pitching was again dominant for Orangefield as starter Jason Bodin and reliever Garrett Rawls retired all fifteen Kountze batters they faced during the five innings in an abbreviated perfect game. Bodin struck out six Lions in three and two third innings and Rawls registered a strikeout to end the game.
The Bobcat bats got the offense going early when the first seven hitters reached base. All seven eventually crossed the plate with Rusten Traxler and Gavin Pollock both delivering two-run hits in the seven-run first inning.
Four more runs scored in the second as Bodin and Caleb Fregia produced run scoring singles. Matt Johnson hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the third run and Bodin scored the fourth run on a throwing error following the catch to put Orangefield up 11-0 after two innings.
The final run was scored by Fregia who reached on an error to leadoff the fourth inning. Camden Fountain singled to center to drive him home.
Orangefield Coach Tim Erickson emphasized his goal now is for the Bobcats to be playing their best ball with the playoffs only a week away. "We want to be playing our best baseball going into next week. I thought we played well against Hardin. we played a bit better tonight against Kountze, and we want to play little bit better in the final game against Anahuac. It's good to see that this time of the year," Erickson confirmed.