The Orange Leader
LITTLE CYPRESS —
It was a lot different of a ballgame Saturday between the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears and Barbers Hill Eagles but unfortunately for the Bears the result did not change from Friday night.
The Bears fought until the final out trying to stave off elimination at Don Gibbons Field but the Eagles proved too much to handle as they completed the series sweep with an 11-8 extra inning victory.
Barbers Hill, who has only lost twice all season long, defeated LC-M 14-4 in five innings on Friday.
LC-M Head Coach Steve Griffith was proud his team kept making runs at overtaking Barbers Hill on Saturday but came up short when it counted.
“We made runs at getting back in this thing,” said Griffith. “We were just a couple of hits away from doing it a third time.”
James Swan's performance at the plate on most days would have been good alone to beat most teams on a regular basis.
Swan had seven RBI in two plate appearances and one at bat gave LC-M the lead and the other tied the game in the seventh inning to force extra innings.
Swan smashed a grand slam over the centerfield fence in the third inning which gave LC-M a 4-3 lead.
LC-M put two runners on to start the third off Barbers Hill errors and then got some more help after an Eagles' walk. Dylan Gruber then attempted a sacrifice bunt but it turned out to be an infield single which loaded the bases for Swan.
The Bears lead did not last long as the Eagles tied the game in the fifth and jumped over the Bears 7-4 in the sixth off three unearned runs.
Swan then dialed up some Bears magic in the seventh after watching Shea Richard take advantage of another Barbers Hill walk and Gruber draw a walk.
Swan smashed a 2-2 fastball over the centerfield fence to tied the score at 7-7. Brandon Humphrey actually gave the Bears a chance to win the game by reaching second with no outs but that is where he was standing when the game went to the eighth inning.
The Eagles went ahead for good in the top of the eighth with four runs as Barbers Hill batted around in the inning.
LC-M kept swinging in the bottom of the eighth yet could only score a run to make the final 11-8 score.
“We graduated some very good players” said Griffith. “We have some good players coming back and preparation for next year starts immediately.”
Humphrey started the game on the mound for the Bears but the scoring started early in the game for the Eagles as Austin Homin moved all the way around the bases on two errors and a passed ball to make it 1-0 after the first inning.
The Eagles would add to their lead in the third inning when Christian Thames ripped an RBI double. Thames would advance to third on a sacrifice bunt before Nick Oliphant hit a sacrifice fly to rightfield to extend the lead to 3-0.