, Port Arthur, Texas


March 21, 2013

Mid-County Madness highlights local baseball on Friday

PORT NECHES — Late March cold front got you down? Head out to The Reservation at 7 p.m. Friday, because there will be plenty of sparks flying in a heated Mid-County Madness rivalry between the Nederland and Port Neches-Groves baseball teams.

Nederland will try to end a two-game skid to the Indians, as PN-G swept both games last season. The Bulldogs haven’t beaten PN-G since 2011, when they swept the season series.

Last year, the Indians beat Nederland 6-5 on a home run by Grant Guidry late in a game that featured three different home runs. The next game in the series was a 3-1 pitching duel that PN-G won at Nederland’s Metreyeon Delahoussaye Field.

Nederland (13-2, 3-0 in 20-4A) appears poised to play either kind of game after getting solid pitching all season from a deep corps of players. Both Mitchell Sanderson and Carson Raines have pitched well in starting roles, but it doesn’t stop there, as Nederland’s bullpen is also capable of shutting down a game behind arms like Gabe Nevala, Jake Ramoin or Korbin Stampley.

Still, Nederland proved in Tuesday’s slugfest with LC-M that its bats are also up to the challenge. The Bulldogs rallied from an early 3-0 hole to beat the Bears 8-5. Head coach Cody Robbins saw too many errors from his group against LC-M, however, as the Bulldogs committed five in the game.

PN-G (7-9, 2-1) has shown it can pitch with anyone this season. Sophomore Lance Ledoux and freshman Ryan Leckich have both stood up to the test of 20-4A baseball thus far, but Indians head coach Mark Brevell has an ace in his bullpen as well in Logan Ashworth. With the trio, Brevell can mix and match starts if he wants, while bringing the third guy out of the bullpen, which is what he did last Friday against LC-M. In that game, Leckich got the start, but was pulled in the fifth in favor of Ashworth, who closed out the game.

Both teams are playing well heading into the first of two Mid-County clashes, which means Friday’s matchup should be entertaining.

Since the Port Arthur Memorial baseball team is off Friday, the other games on tap are all softball.

Port Neches-Groves (12-7, 4-2) travels to Livingston at 7 p.m. Friday. The Lady Indians split games in the past two weeks, beating Nederland on March 12 but losing to Vidor last Friday. PN-G opened this week with a 10-0 victory over Beaumont Ozen and should keep that momentum going on the season’s longest road trip to play the Lady Lions.

Nederland (16-7, 4-2) has its own tough test this Friday as the Lady ‘Dogs host Vidor at 7 p.m. The Lady Pirates are in second place in 20-4A, a game behind undefeated LC-M. Vidor beat Livingston 4-3 on Tuesday to move to 5-1 in district play, so a win for Nederland would force a tie for second place. Nederland beat Lumberton 4-1 on Tuesday behind another big game for pitcher MaKayla Kelly, who had 10 strikeouts.

Port Arthur Memorial rounds out the schedule with its own crosstown rivarly. The Lady Titans will travel to Beaumont West Brook at 6:45 p.m.

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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

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From the Fieldhouse blog