PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

May 11, 2014

Shugart hurls playoff no-hitter

BAYTOWN — At the Bridge City High School prom, surely they will play “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer, dedicated to Cardinals junior pitcher Chase Shugart.

One thing for certain Saturday, the Sweeny Bulldogs certainly didn’t touch him.

Shugart hurled a complete-game no-hitter, striking out 13 while walking three and he also found time to hit a pair of doubles and drove in three runs as the Cardinals mauled the Bulldogs 9-0 in the Class 3A area round of the playoffs at Baytown Sterling.

“I had really good command of my pitches today and got into the flow early,” said Shugart. “I was able to hit my spots and if they did hit the ball, I knew I had some great teammates behind me backing me up the whole way. We got some runs there in the second inning and I really felt comfortable then.”

Cardinals coach Chad Landry was thrilled about the Cardinals win and Shugart’s mound performance.

“Chase was on today and tossed a great one,” said Landry. “He had excellent control of all three pitcher. I thought (catcher) Hunter (Uzzle) was great behind the plate with the calls. All of the kids played well throughout the lineup. It’s a win and it’s all about advancing and moving on.”

The Cardinals will now move on to the 3A regional quarterfinals to face the Huffman Falcons, the team that knocked the Cardinals out in the regional quarters last season.

“That’s going to be another good matchup,” said Landry. “Huffman is solid again and they won their district too. They have kids that like to battle and I know we do too. It should be an exciting matchup.”

The District 21-3A champion Cardinals (25-3) scored a pair of runs off Sweeny (19-10) starter Mitchell Ullom in the top of the second inning.

Ashton Hunter reached on an error at first base, moved to second on a Kyle Bergeron sacrifice bunt and to third on a Sage Elmore groundout.

Blake Pruett sent a deep double to left to plate Hunter and Pruett quickly scored when Jonah Watts laced a single to right.

“Ashton did a good job getting on and we were able to move him around,” said Landry. “Then we got those two big back-to-back hits by Blake and Jonah and then we scored four more runs in the next two innings to go up 6-0. I knew we were in good shape then, the way Chase was throwing.”

Ullom was solid for the Bulldogs on the mound but had some errors behind him. He worked six innings, allowing four hits while fanning four and walking three.

The Cardinals pecked in a run in the top half of the third frame.

Shugart cranked a one-out double to left-centerfield and Hunter reached on an error. Bergeron then hit into a fielder’s choice. Hunter was out at second on the play but courtesy runner Blaine Slaughter raced in to score after a throwing error to first.

Bridge City tallied three runs in the fourth.

Pruett led off and got hit by an Ullom pitch. Trevor Gunn drew a one-out walk and Hunter Uzzle was hit by a pitch to load up the bases for Shugart. Shugart promptly doubled over the head of third baseman Jacob Mathis that went all the way to the fence in left as all three of his teammates crossed home plate.

The Cardinals tacked on three more runs in the seventh against Sweeny reliever Blayne Bailey.

Hunter reached on a single to shallow left, swiped second and scored on a darting double to left by Bergeron.

Blaine Huff slapped a single to left and the Cardinals scored two runs on RBI groundouts by both Bryce Carey and Watts.

The only serious threat that the Bulldogs put up was in the bottom of the seventh.

Tyler Robertson drew a leadoff walk and Tyler Krebs reached on an error as Robertson got all the way to third. Shugart, however, had no problems as he fanned Brett Bullard, got Kolby Stewart to fly out and fanned Dax McCreary to end the game.

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