The Orange Leader
Preston Pittman sure seemed like he was in a hurry Saturday against the Sweeny Bulldogs.
Maybe it was the fact the Bridge City Cardinals senior didn't want his Saturday night prom date to be too upset.
Pittman and the Cardinals swept the Sweeny Bulldogs after Saturday's 11-0 win in the Class 3A Region III Area Round playoffs at La Porte High School. The Cardinals defeated the Bulldogs 4-1 Friday behind a nice pitching performance from Hayden Guidry.
Pittman though gave up no hits Saturday and struck out 11 batters in the win as the game only lasted six innings.
Sweeny's Bulldogs only threatened to score in three of the six innings.
The first came in the third inning after Pittman struck out the first batter, an error put a runner on first and Pittman walked the next two Bulldogs to load the bases.
Pittman then had to face the No. 3 and No. 4 batters for Sweeny in Austin Boyd and Kaylor Chafin. Pittman had no problem getting out the jam with back-to-back strike outs to end the inning.
Bridge City broke the game open in the top of the fifth with a five running inning to take a commanding 7-0 lead.
Hunter Uzzle led the inning off by getting hit by a pitch and was moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Keaton Langston.
Bryce Sampere plated Uzzle with a RBI single to left field.
Chase Shugart then singled to left before Chafin was able to get the second out of the inning.
Pittman helped his own cause by reaching on an error that plated Sampere to make it 4-0 Bridge City.
Ashton Hunter then picked up a RBI with a single to right to make it 5-0 Cardinals. Nick Portacci then got the biggest hit of the inning with a two-run double to right centerfield to score both Pittman and Hunter giving the Cardinals the seven run advantage.
Sweeny threatened again in the bottom of the fifth by putting two runners on base behind a walk and the second error of the game from Bridge City.
Pittman did not let the base runners advance past second with once again back-to-back strike outs to end the inning.
“This feels great,” Pittman said of his no-hitter against Sweeny. “We are not surprised to be in the regional quarterfinals. We expect to go to state every year. That is our goal and we accept nothing short of Austin.”
Bridge City put the game on ice in the top of the sixth as once again Uzzle led the inning off by getting on base and eventually his courtesy runner, Sage Elmore, scored on a RBI single to right by Sampere.
Chase Shugart got into the offensive attack with a two-run double that score both Langston and Sampere. Shugart scored the game's last run when Colin Gros came off the bench and hit a RBI single to centerfield.
It was an unusual day for Chafin who started the game for the Bulldogs. Chafin, who is headed to Texas A&M University after high school, last five innings Saturday and gave up eight hits, one walk and struck out seven batters. Only two of the seven runs given up by Chafin were earned runs.
Bridge City will now face the Huffman Falcons next week in the regional quarterfinals. Bridge City defeated Huffman last year in a one-game playoff series at Barbers Hill High School.