, Port Arthur, Texas

March 21, 2013

Mid-County Madness highlights local baseball on Friday

David Coleman
The Port Arthur News

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.