HOUSTON — Can Nederland withstand the charge of an angry Hippo?
The Bulldogs get to answer that very question in the area round of the playoffs starting Friday, as they take on a team with one of the most colorful nicknames in the state. The Hutto Hippos advanced past Magnolia to set up this area round meeting with Nederland.
The two teams are scheduled to play a best-of-three series at Baseball USA starting at 7 p.m. Friday. Game 2 will be played at 3 p.m. Saturday with Game 3, if necessary, played 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 2.
Hutto (22-9) took a three-game series from Magnolia in the bidistrict round, dropping the first game 9-8 before beating the Bulldogs 18-7 and 4-1 in the deciding game. Both Anthony Asbill and Rylee Nance threw complete games for Hutto in its two victories. Nance struck out seven in his complete game victory while Asbill struck out five
More than the pitching, though, what led Hutto to the series win was its patience. In Games 2 and 3, the Hippos only managed three extra base hits total, but still managed to score 14 runs in the second inning of Game 2 to break it open.
They scored those runs because they forced Magnolia to throw strikes. The Bulldogs threw less than 50 percent strikes in both of the final two games of the series, as Hutto forced walk after walk. That patience also paid off in the regular season.
The Hippos won their first eight district games before running into 17-4A title winner Georgetown. The Eagles swept Hutto in a two-game series, but the Hippos quickly bounced back to finish distirict with an 11-3 record. That gave Hutto the second seed and a matchup with Magnolia.
Nederland (24-5) struggled to beat Dayton in a slugfest of a series, but still pulled off the series win with two straight victories at home. That included a pair of good pitching performances, as Jared Ramoin and Gabe Nevala turned in solid starts to give Nederland a chance to win.
Throwing strikes won’t be hard for any of Nederland’s pitchers. Probably tonight’s starter Mitchell Sanderson throws a high percentage of strikes and works quickly, which should keep the Hippos from getting too comfortable at the plate.
The question for Nederland will be how much it can expect out of Carson Raines. One of Nederland’s two district starters, Raines hasn’t pitched since the Little Cypress-Mauriceville game on April 12. Head coach Cody Robbins said after the final Dayton game that he hopes to have Raines back pitching by this weekend, but there was no guarantee.
If Nederland can swing the bats like it did in the final two games against Dayton, though, pitching won’t matter as much. The Bulldogs were led by first baseman Aaron Sampere, catcher Brian Feltman, third baseman/right fielder Jordan Wood and Raines at designated hitter in those final two games. Both Sampere and Feltman had home runs while Raines and Wood came up with multiple timely base hits to drive in runs.
HOUSTON — Can Nederland withstand the charge of an angry Hippo?
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 email@example.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)
Mid County knocked out of tournament
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