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By Dan Perrine
For The Record 

LCM wins all three games in Orange County Classic


Last updated 3/12/2024 at 2:01pm

Landon Richards of LCM pitched five innings without allowing an earned run in the Bears win over Liberty on Friday in the Orange County Classic baseball tournament

The Orange County Classic baseball tournament was held at Little Cypress Mauriceville High School's Don Gibbens Field on March 7-9. Five teams competed including the Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs, and the Vidor Pirates from Orange County all of which are in District 19-4A.

The Mustangs opened the tournament on Thursday against the Liberty Panthers. West Orange-Stark scored two runs in the second getting a bunt single from Cortez Robertson to score Blade Williams and Zach Nation delivered a two out line drive for a hit to plate Christian Anderson giving the Mustangs a 2-1 lead.

Will Lee led off the third with a double that rattled the left field fence. WOS increased its lead to 3-1 when Lee came home on a wild pitch.

Liberty scored three runs in the top of the fourth only to have the Mustangs answer with three tallies of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Noah Robles bunted for a single and Diego Ibarra walked before Lee delivered a rbi single to tie the game. Grayson Gregory hit a ground ball to shortstop that led to a throwing error scoring pinch runner Josh Robledo and Lee to put West Orange-Stark up two runs 6-4 after four.

Two bad throws by the Mustangs proved costly in the top of the fifth giving the Panthers new life. Liberty took advantage of the miscues scoring 12 runs to take a 16-6 advantage which was the final score.

Adding injury to insult Ibarra hurt a finger on his right hand trying to catch a throw at first base. The extent of the injury was not revealed, but Ibarra left the game.

Little Cypress Mauriceville played Thursday against the Woodville Eagles. The Bears took the initial lead on a two run double from Marco Bandiero to bring home courtesy runner Kacen Scott and Parker Seago in the bottom of the first.

Two more runs in the second inning thanks primarily to Eagle errors had LCM on top 4-1 after two innings. Woodville got a two run homer in the third to cut the Bears lead to a run, but LCM got a run of its own in the bottom of the third when Parker Freeman walked, went to third on single by Clay Raney, and scored on an infield hit by Landon Richards.

A two out rally in the fourth boosted the Bears' lead to five runs. Justin McCarver started the ball rolling with a single to center, Bandiero walked, Freeman singled home the first run, and two more runs came in on a Woodville error to give LCM an 8-3 advantage and as it turned out the final score.

Bandiero pitched all five innings for the win on the mound. Marco struck out five Eagles.

One of the teams originally scheduled to be in the tournament withdrew which caused the other teams' games to be redone. Instead of four games most of the teams got to play three games over the three day tournament.

Little Cypress Mauriceville played the Liberty Panthers on Friday evening. Landon Richards started on the mound for the Bears throwing five plus innings without allowing an earned run and got credit for the win.

Richards had a key hit in the fourth inning with an opposite field double that scored Parker Freeman and Clay Raney. Richards and Jackson Struwe both scored on a two out hit by Justin McCarver to put the Bears up 4-0 after four innings.

The Panthers scored an unearned run in the fifth thanks to two Bear errors and two more in the top of the sixth when an error with two outs loaded the bases. A single by the next Panther batter made the score 4-3 in favor of the Bears.

Little Cypress Mauriceville responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth after there were two out. Jackson Struwe started the rally beating out a grounder to shortstop. Jacob Scheiderer and McCarver walked to load the bases for Parker Seago who singled to left to bring home the insurance runs.

Scheiderer started the game in left field and relieved Richards on the mound in the sixth. Scheiderer struck out one of Liberty's most dangerous hitters with two Panthers on base in the seventh to get a well deserved save in the 6-3 win for the Bears.

Following that game West Orange-Stark got to play Port Arthur Memorial which was not even originally invited to be in the tournament. The Mustangs took a resounding 10-0 victory in their final game of the tournament.

Noah Robles threw a brilliant five innings yielding only a single and two walks while striking out five in the shutout win. Blade Williams drove in two runs with a single and Cortez Robertson slugged a bases loaded triple for the big blows by the Mustangs' bats.

The final game of the tournament was played on Saturday afternoon in a rematch of Thursday's game between LCM and Woodville. The Bears prevailed 5-4 over the Eagles.

Woodville scored three times in the first inning knocking out the Bears' starting pitcher Jacob Scheiderer. Clay Raney came on to stop the bleeding and got the win pitching into the sixth inning allowing one unearned run.

Little Cypress Mauriceville tallied two runs in the first and took the lead for good in the second with three more runs. Landon Richards walked, Jackson Struwe doubled into the left field corner, and both scored on a single to left by Ethan Fry. Marco Bandiero drew a bases loaded walk to put the Bears up 5-3 after two innings.

Pitching dominated the remainder of the game with Liberty taking advantage of an error in the fifth to score the final run. Parker Freeman relieved Raney on the mound in the sixth to get the final out and a save.

Ethan Fry scores what proved to be the winning run for LCM in the last game of the tournament on Saturday

LCM Coach Hunter Hagler thinks this tournament has got his Bears ready to start district play in about a week. "Every single Bear we ran out to the mound did really well this weekend which is always exciting to see right before you get district going. We had some timely hitting and some really good base running at points too which was exciting," Hagler replied.

This week marks the beginning of District 19-4A games. The Bridge City Cardinals opened with the Silsbee Tigers on Tuesday, March 12, at Silsbee and then at Bridge City against the Tigers on Friday, March 15. The West Orange-Stark Mustangs started Tuesday against the Vidor Pirates at Ronnie Anderson Park and on Friday play at Vidor. The Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears have the bye this week and start next week March 19 and March 22 against Bridge City.

The Orangefield Bobcats began district action the week before and are 0-1 in District 21-3A. The Bobcats were at home on Tuesday, March 12, against the East Chambers Buccaneers. Orangefield plays its next game Friday, March 15, at Warren.


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