BASEBALL: Jasper gets hot late, cools off BC in Game 1

Published 10:28 pm Wednesday, May 16, 2018

By Caleb Adams

The Orange Leader

JASPER — The Jasper Bulldogs downed the Bridge City Cardinals 4-1 in Jasper Wednesday night in Game 1 of their three-game series in the Class 4A Region III quarterfinals of the UIL state playoffs.

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The game was won in the final two innings for the District 21-4A champion Bulldogs (28-5-1), with late hits and a big solo home run.

Game 2 is Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Nederland High School. Game 3 if necessary, will be at Lamar University on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The winner of the series will take on Robinson in the regional semifinals next week.

With a packed crowd and the shaking stands from stomping, the game was close the whole way through, and all the players played like it was their last game. Players were diving for everything, swinging for the fences and both starting pitchers were throwing their best stuff in classic Texas baseball at Jasper High School.

Peyton Havard got the start for 22-4A champion Bridge City (25-8-1). Havard went five innings giving up three runs, six hits, six strikeouts, four walks and just under 100 pitches on the night. Havard was able to keep Jasper at bay for five innings, but their bats woke up late.

Colton Womack, for the Bulldogs, was spectacular in this game, going the distance to get the win. Womack went seven innings with one run, three hits, two walks and three strikeouts on the night. He was a big reason the Bulldogs were able to pull off the win.

The first three innings went by rather uneventfully, with each team getting a few runners on, but nothing coming of it. Both pitchers, Havard and Womack, were able to keep their early mistakes to a minimum. Neither team was able to figure out the opposition’s arm yet.

Bridge City grabbed the first lead of the game, thanks to Cace Skinner. He knocked in Jackson Tims from second base with an in-betweener to the right side as the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning.

The Bulldogs fired back in the next frame, thanks to a bomb. Leo Escalante, the designated hitter, sent one flying over left field to even the score with a single swing in the bottom of the fourth. Havard recovered and shut down the side after the homer.

Jasper took the lead in the fifth with a two-out error and a run. Micheal Soisson drove in Victor Williams Jr. from second base after the Cardinals missed a diving catch, letting Williams come around as the Bulldogs went up 2-1 after five innings of play. With every play the crowd grew louder and louder, making every play even more intense than the last.

Womack helped himself out with a sixth inning RBI to extend the lead. Womack, with a single down the right field line, brought in Escalante from third base. Henry McMillion scored the fourth run thanks to a wild pitch from the Cardinals.