orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

May 18, 2013

Cards have season end in shocking way

Huffman rallies past BC to win 5-4; Redbirds led 4-0 in 5th

Gabriel Pruett
The Orange Leader

LA PORTE — Sometimes the best way to describe a baseball game is the most least interesting way to type up the action.

This is basically the situation after Saturday's Bridge City and Huffman one-game playoff series in the area round of the Class 3A Region III playoffs.

Huffman eliminated Bridge City yet for more than half the game, the script was reversed as the Cardinals led 4-0 but eventually lost 5-4.

This might sound familiar to those in the know of Bridge City baseball playoff history.

It was just last year the Cardinals erased a 5-0 Falcons lead and knocked Huffman out of the playoffs with a 7-5 victory.

It was just last year Hayden Guidry came into that game in relief of starter Jake Lemoine. Guidry would go on to throw 5 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball with nine strike outs.

Flash forward to 2013 and Guidry was motoring along against the Falcons through the first four innings.

Guidry, who will leave Bridge City and pitch for the University of Louisiana-Lafeyette next year, gave up one hit and no runs with five strike outs through four innings Saturday.

This is where the story gets boring and frustrating for Cardinals fans, players and coaches.

Huffman's fifth inning went like this: single, strike out, single, walk, RBI fly out for the second out, RBI single to make it 4-2, two-run single to tie the game, Guidry leaves the game, a walk, a hit by the pitch, BC reliever Preston Pittman pulled and finally a RBI walk.

Game, set, match.

Normally one would think Bridge City would muster up at least one run to tie the game in the final three innings. This was the same team Saturday that had six hits and four runs in the first four innings.

The Redbirds only got one hit, a single by Nick Portacci in the sixth, in the last three innings.

Bridge City tried to rally with two outs in the bottom of the seventh as Bryce Sampere and Chase Shugart drew walks but a final grounder brought in the final out of the contest.

Pittman scored the Cardinals first run of the game in the bottom of the second after doubling to left with two outs. Ashton Hunter then hit a RBI single to right to make it 1-0.

Blaine Huff led the Cardinals bottom of the third off with a single to center, right before Hunter Uzzle doubled to left field.

Huff came in to score on a wild pitch and Uzzle was brought home when Sampere ripped a RBI single to left to make it 3-0.

Keaton Langston, who was hit by a pitch, scored the Cardinals last run of the year on a Huffman error.

The Cardinals had two runners on base with one out in the bottom of the fourth yet a double play ended the threat.

Only one baserunner reached even first in the fifth and sixth innings combined.

What made the game also confusing was the fact Bridge City was coming off a two-game sweep of the No. 1 Sweeny Bulldogs last week. It wasn't a normal two-game sweep either. Guidry in the first game struck out 14 and only gave up three hits in a 4-1 win. Pittman followed that up with a no-hitter in Game 2 and struck out 11 batters in an 11-0 win in six innings. Guidry struck out 14 and allowed only three hits in the Cardinals first round 4-1 win over Shepherd.

Shugart threw the final 2 1/3 innings for Bridge City and he gave up one hit and one walk with five strike outs.

This is the first year in Bridge City Coach Chad Landry's tenure with the Cardinals the Redbirds will not play in the regional semifinals.

Cody Carver started for the Falcons and he settled down after the early trouble. He worked 6 2/3 innings and gave up seven hits, three walks and four runs with five strike outs.

The Falcons will now face Diboll in the regional semifinals. Diboll was also a part of an upset as the Lumberjacks defeated Carthage 3-0 in a one-game playoff.