The Orange Leader
BRIDGE CITY —
The last time Chase Shugart faced the Silsbee Tigers he fanned 16 and gave up one run and three hits.
He said Friday night was the highlight performance of his high school career, that is saying a lot.
Shugart gave up one hit and no runs in the Cardinals 5-0 win to move to 8-0 in District 21-3A. This time he struck out 14 and walked just one Tigers batter.
The lone Silsbee hit (6-3) came in the top of the seventh with one out and a runner on first.
Bridge City second baseman started the seventh off with a fine fielding play on a slow roller to get the out at first.
Shugart then walked slugger Jordan Gore on four pitches. Then, the first pitch to Tyler Powell missed the strike zone and forced Cardinals catcher Hunter Uzzle to visit Shugart on the mound.
Shugart connected for a strike before Powell connected for a line drive into right field.
“On just one pitch tonight I missed my release point,” Shugart said. “He (Powell) did his job and took advantage of the mistake. I wasn’t nervous in the seventh but I knew going into the inning what was going on and that they had zeros on the board.”
Shugart seemed to settled down after the hit by striking out the next two batters on seven pitches. He threw 98 pitches in the game.
“Tonight was the best experience I’ve had in high school,” Shugart said. “Getting the 3-0 was huge. It allowed me to do what I do and go all out with what I got.”
Bridge City coach Chad Landry said the most impressive part of Friday was the way Shugart handled Silsbee batters the second time around in the lineup.
“We talked and wondered could he do it again,” Landry said. “The second time around tonight he seemed even better than the first.”
Shugart allowed only one baserunner through the first 6.1 innings. Silsbee’s Colby Leblanc reached on an error in the top of the fourth and actually reached second on another Bridge City error.
Bridge City built the 3-0 lead in the bottom two after an uncharacteristic error by Powell at second.
Ashton Hunter, who earlier walked, scored off the error and soon Blake Pruett came in off a balk by Silsbee starter Matthew Hartman. Trevor Gunn scored the Cardinals third run of the inning when Hunter Uzzle ripped a RBI single to right.
Hunter scored again in the bottom of the sixth when Uzzle reached on a fielder’s choice and Blaine Huff capped the scoring on another Silsbee error.
Hartman lasted 6.2 innings and gave up five hits and three walks with four strike outs.
Bridge City will continue its march to a District 21-3A title Tuesday with a home game against Hamshire-Fannett.