The Port Arthur News
Struggling to find offensive consistency, Bridge City saw another great campaign end Saturday against Huffman in the Class 3A regional quarterfinals.
Huffman managed to scratch in four runs on just four hits and held the Cardinals scoreless to notch a 4-0 Game Three victory at Baytown Sterling High School as the Falcons now advance to face College Station in the regional semifinals next week.
The Cardinals (26-5), who scored three runs in the first two innings in Game One to take that one 3-2, went scoreless for the next 18 innings against stout Huffman (24-5) pitching. BC left 12 men stranded on base.
“Give Huffman credit, they have a good club and their pitching and defense was excellent throughout the three games,” said Cardinals coach Chad Landry. “We had so many chances and you can’t leave 12 runners on base. That’s not like us because we’ve been excellent scoring runs in clutch situations all year.”
The Cardinals had superb pitching throughout the series and received a nice effort from starter Jonah Watts Saturday in the loss.
Watts worked four innings, allowing just one hit while striking out two and walking four. Kyle Bergeron tossed the last two innings for BC, allowing three hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
“Our kids pitched their tails off the whole series,” said Landry. “Jonah gave us a tremendous effort again today. We simply didn’t give our guys any run support. We didn’t have any offensive output and we know we’re better than what we showed. You can’t take away anything from our kids, it was another tremendous season, just wish we were still moving on. I’m very proud of them.”
Jake Harrison tossed the first 3 1/3 innings for the Falcons, allowing two hits while fanning four and walking four. Tyler Hebert was strong in relief as he hurled 3 2/3 innings while allowing three hits. He struck out five and walked two.
Huffman got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the third.
Richard Marches got on with one out after at error at short and he swiped second. Marches scooted to third on a sacrifice bunt by Clay Barnes. Cody Stone drew a walk and then swiped second and Justin Waltmon walked to load the bases.
With the two outs, Jack Malone looked to have struck out on a great pitch by Watts that would have ended the inning, however, the umpire called it a ball and on the next pitch Watts hit Malone, allowing Marches to score.
The Falcons went up 2-0 when Matthew Bumpas hit a ball to second that was mishandled as Stone darted in to score.
The only hit Watts gave up came in the bottom of the fifth when Stone hit a solo home run over the fence in left-center.
Waltmon followed with an infield single off Bergeron and he swiped second with one out and scored on a Jay Hackett RBI single to center.
The Cardinals had their chance.
In the top of the first, Hunter Uzzle, who had two hits for the Cards, had a one-out single to right and Chase Shugart followed with a walk. Harrison got out of it by fanning both Bergeron and Ashton Hunter.
In the second, Sage Elmore had a leadoff single to shallow left and moved to second on a Blake Pruett sacrifice bunt and to third on a wild pitch but was left stranded when Harrison fanned Watts and got Trevor Gunn to fly out.
BC had two more on in the third when Uzzle and Shugart drew one-out walks but Bergeron ended up grounding into a double play.
The Cardinals left three stranded in the fourth.
Elmore reached on a one-out walk and Pruett was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Gunn was hit by a pitch to load the bases but Hebert was able to strike out Keaton Langston to end the treat.
In the fifth, Uzzle planted a leadoff single to center and Bergeron had a one-out single down the third base line but Hebert got out of it by striking out Hunter and getting Elmore to fly out.
Gunn had a two-out single in the sixth and was stranded.
The Cardinals put two on in the seventh with Shugart and Bergeron getting one-out walks but Hebert ended it by getting Hunter to pop out and then he fanned Elmore.
Despite the loss, it was another banner season for the Cardinals and the seniors that they will lose to graduation.
“We’re really going to miss those kids because they are so important to the program,” said Landry. “The have plenty to be proud of. They were part of four district titles and four trips to the regional quarterfinals and 98 wins.
“It’s a proud group with a tremendous work ethic. We’ve got some key guys coming back but that senior group is going to be hard to replace.”