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By Dan Perrine
For The Record 

Lemoine's jersey retired during Bridge City baseball tournament


Baseball and softball tournaments were conducted the last weekend of February for Orange County teams. The local teams got their first good opportunity to show what they have for the season ahead.

The Bridge Cardinal Invitational was held Thursday through Saturday at Chuck Young Field. Eight teams each played four games over the three day baseball tournament.

The highlight of the tournament was Friday night with the retiring of Cardinal great Jake Lemoine's jersey in a special ceremony. Lemoine graduated from Bridge City High School in 2012 following his outstanding career as a pitcher.

After pitching for the University of Houston in college Lemoine was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2015. Seven years later Jake was selected by the Oakland Athletics, and during the 2022 season he made his debut in the major leagues.

Jake Lemoine is the first Bridge City graduate to ever play baseball in the big leagues. His Cardinal number 18 will never be used again, and a big red sign now hangs on the left field fence at Chuck Young Field with Lemoine's name and number on it.

The best game of the tournament was played following the ceremony honoring Lemoine. Bridge City rallied from seven runs down against Orangefield to win 8-7 on a two out walk off bases loaded triple by Hutch Bearden.

The Cardinals went 3-1 in their tournament. Bridge City won on Thursday 5-3 over Buna before losing 6-3 to Hamshire-Fannett on Friday night prior to Lemoine being honored. The Cardinals blasted Mount Vernon 13-3 on Saturday morning helped by a first inning grand slam from John Van Huis.

The Orangefield Bobcats lost to Nederland, Bridge City, and Port Neches-Groves in their first three games but closed with a resounding 17-0 triumph over Hamshire-Fannett. Freshman pitcher Carson Gonzales threw an abbreviated four inning no hitter with one walk and seven strikeouts.

Little Cypress Mauriceville played in a tournament at Lufkin during the weekend. The Bears lost their opener on Thursday to Porter before splitting two games on Friday.

Freshman Jacob Scheiderer threw a seven inning shutout on Friday against Krum allowing just two hits and striking out six as the Bears won 2-0. On Saturday LCM got another strong outing beating Henderson 4-1 with the help of a bases loaded walk for Ethan Fry and a single by Justin McCarver.

The West Orange-Stark Mustangs played four games in the Kountze tournament. The Mustangs dropped all their games but played a close one with Hemphill before losing 7-4 on Saturday.

There were three girls softball tournaments over the weekend. Orangefield and Bridge City traveled to Port Neches-Groves, Little Cypress Mauriceville went to Sweeney, and West Orange-Stark played at home in its own tournament.

The Orangefield Lady Bobcats split their two games on Thursday losing to the host Lady Indians 10-4 and beating Vidor 8-2. Charlee Sanches homered in both games

for the Lady Bobcats, and Hallee Becker scored four runs in the two games combined.

Orangefield defeated Lumberton 6-1 and tied Hamshire-Fannett 1-1 on Friday. Sanches got the win surrendering no earned runs to Lumberton and struck out six. Hallee Becker was a leader at the plate with three hits and three runs scored. Abigail Curphey pitched a good game yielding just one run and striking out seven against Hamshire-Fannett in the tie.

The Lady Bobcats swept their two games on Saturday with a pair of shutouts. Sanches shutout Anahuac 6-0 on two hits. Curphey threw a one hitter shutting out Bridge City 2-0. Haylee Spears and Aubree Beck drove in the two runs for Orangefield which improved to 8-4-1 on the season.

Bridge City completed the tournament at PN-G with three shutouts by its pitchers. Cardinal pitching ace Carson Fall threw two no hitters during the tournament.

After a 6-6 tie with Anahuac on Thursday morning Fall threw the first of her no hitters 3-0 against Hamshire-Fannett. The second no hitter followed on Friday with Lumberton falling 7-0. Port Neches-Groves could do no better as they were shutout 6-0 by Bridge City. Only Orangefield could beat Bridge City over the weekend.

Little Cypress Mauriceville won five of its six games at Sweeney. The Lady Bears took two games on Thursday, won both games on Friday, before splitting their two games on Saturday.

The two LCM pitchers Ella Stephenson and Tessa Erickson pitched well in the tournament. Lexis Moss hit three homeruns including a grand slam on Saturday and Jacelyn Cook cranked a homer on Thursday.

West Orange-Stark went 2-3 at its own tournament. The Lady Mustangs got a decisive 16-5 win over Beaumont Kelly on Thursday and edged Port Arthur Memorial 7-6 on Friday.

The local tournament this week will be the Certa-Bearden WOS Classic at West Orange-Stark. The Mustangs will play four games over the three day tournament while Orangefield and Little Cypress Mauriceville play each other on Thursday afternoon and Orangefield has another game scheduled on Saturday afternoon. All games will be played at Ronnie Anderson Park on the West Orange-Stark campus.


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