(Orange, Texas)

May 17, 2013

Bobcats force Game 3 against 21-3A rival Tigers

Gabriel Pruett
The Orange Leader

VIDOR — There will now be a fifth game between the Silsbee Tigers and Orangefield Bobcats in this 2013 high school baseball season.

Orangefield shook off elimination Friday night with a 5-3 win over their District 21-3A rivals, the Silsbee Tigers, in the Class 3A Region III Regional Quarterfinals.

Game 3 is set for 2 p.m. Saturday back at Vidor High School. Silsbee won Game 1, 5-1, Thursday night. Orangefield is now 21-10 on the year while Silsbee dropped to 28-7.

Friday's game was similar in one way to Thursday's game yet it was opposite teams.

Orangefield scored four runs in the first inning Friday and then held on the rest of the way to make sure its season lasted at least one more round.

It was Silsbee on Thursday who jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the first two innings and then held on for the victory.

Orangefield's Bobcats got this moving very quickly Friday as Eric Truncale and Braxton Smith led off the game with back-to-back singles. Cody Angelle then loaded the bases with no outs with a walk.

Truncale scored the game's first run as Ryan Gunstream was then hit by a pitch. The next two runners then scored as Silsbee made a defensive error and Gunstream made it 4-0 when Kurt Haggard picked up a RBI on a fielder's choice.

Orangefield did not score again until the fifth inning as Haggard scored on a passed ball. He led the fifth off with a single to right field.

The slow offense from the Bobcats in the middle innings was due to Silsbee starter Matthew Hartman finding a groove. He worked all seven innings and gave up five runs on six hits with five strike outs.

Orangefield starter Braxton Smith also went seven innings and was equally as impressive with only three runs allowed with four strike outs and just two walks. He did though give up nine Silsbee base hits.

Adam Valencia played a part in all three Tigers' runs Friday with three RBI.

He scored Jordan Gore in the first inning with a RBI double, scored Chris Nesbitt (courtesy runner for Colby LeBlanc) in the third and brought home Gore home again in the fifth with a RBI single to center field.

 Striking for five runs in the first two innings, the Silsbee Tigers took down Orangefield 5-1 in Game One Thursday night.

The Tigers picked up seven of their 10 hits in the first two frames to escape the Bobcats.

Silsbee ace Tyler Powell got the complete-game win, scattering six hits while striking out seven and walking three.

Ryan Gunstream absorbed the loss for the Bobcats. He settled down and pitched well the last five innings, giving up just three hits in that stretch. He finished with four strikeouts and one walk.

The Tigers tallied two runs in the top of the first.

Montana Garcia stroked a single to center and Colby LeBlanc followed with a double to center.

Garcia was able to scoot home off a Jordan Gore RBI groundout to second and LeBlanc eventually raced home off a Adam Valencia single to left.

Silsbee scored three runs off four hits in the top half of the second.

Brayden Griffin got it going with a single to left-centerfield. He scored when Colin Shellhammer doubled to center. Garcia made it 4-0 when he brought in Shellhammer with a RBI single past short. Garcia scored his second run of the night, racing home on a Gore double to center.

The Bobcats snared their lone run in the bottom of the sixth.

Braxton Smith stroked a leadoff single up the middle and swiped second and scored when Cody Angelle lifted a RBI single to left.

Tryce Howard went 2-for-2 for the Bobcats, beating out two infield singles.

Garcia, Gore and Dusty Thibodeaux all had two hits apiece for the Bobcats.

The winner of the series will face either Carthage or Chine Spring in next week's regional semifinals.