PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

May 14, 2014

BC takes one game lead over Huffman

NEDERLAND — Gutting one out Wednesday night, the Bridge City Cardinals find themselves a win away from the Class 3A Region III semifinals as they took down the Huffman Falcons 3-2 in Game One of their best-of-three quarterfinal series at Nederland High School.

The District 21-3A champion Cardinals (26-3) put together six of their seven hits off Huffman (22-5) starter Austin Smith in the first two innings to collect all three of their runs.

Cardinal ace Chase Shugart allowed just four hits while striking out 10 and walking five. All four of the Huffman hits came in the Falcons two-run fourth inning. Cardinal senior catcher Hunter Uzzle set the tone quickly in the bottom of the first when he cranked a Smith offering deep over the centerfield wall for a 1-0 Cardinal lead.

The Cardinals tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the second frame.

Sage Elmore opened with a single to center but ended up out on a double play ball.

Jonah Watts drew a two-out walk and Trevor Gunn made Smith pay with a towering RBI triple to center. Keaton Langston, the only player on the night to have two hits, plated what would be the game-winning run when he scored Gunn with a single to left.

“Hunter really got us going with that solo blast,” said Landry. “The win was blowing straight out and he took advantage of it. The big thing for us ended up being those two runs in the second with two outs. That was some clutch hitting there by Trevor and Keaton.”

Game Two of the series has moved away from San Jacinto Junior College Friday night and has shifted tentatively to Adam Dunn Field in New Caney at 7 p.m. as of presstime. Game Three, if necessary, will be Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Baytown Sterling High School.

Shugart did not allow a hit through the first three innings.

The Falcons were finally able to put together some timely hits to trim the margin.

Cody Stone lead off with a single to right centerfield and went to second on a wild pitch and to third on a Jack Malone single to left.

With two outs, Jay Hackett slapped a single to center to plate pinch runner Mark Gallegos. Cody Gaitan made it 3-2 with a single to shallow center that scored Malone.

Smith settled down for the Falcons after the second inning, allowing the Cardinals just one hit the rest of the way, which Watts got in the fourth inning.

“The Smith kid gave a great effort,” said Landry. “He upped the velocity of his pitches after the second inning and pitched a solid game.”

Shugart wasted no time ending the contest for the Cardinals as he struck out the side in the top of the seventh inning.

“Chase pitched really well, “ said Landry. “Those four hits in the fourth were tough. One of them shouldn’t have happened at all, which led to one run because of some shuffling in the field and indecision. He bounced back from it though. He mowed them down there in the seventh to get us out of here.”

The winner of the BC-Huffman series will face either College Station or Robinson in the Region III semifinals.

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