Mustangs outlast Bears, 4-3
By Ronnie Hughes
LITTLE CYPRESS —An evening marred by errors would cost the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears the game as they fell 4-3 to the Mustangs of West Orange-Stark Friday at Don Gibbens Field in District 24-4A action.
After leading through four complete innings the Bears found themselves giving away free runs on errant throws and walks. Payton Robertson pitched 6-1/3 innings forWO-Swhile striking out eight Bear batters in the win. Ryan Ragsdale picks up the save pitching the final two batters.
The win pushes the Mustangsto a perfect 5-0 in district while the Bears slipped to 1-4.
The Mustangs got the bats swinging early. KJ Miller reached first base on a fielder’s choice then took second base after a Jack Dallas shot past shortstop. Despite the early success at the plate WO-S would come up empty with Ryan Ragsdale hitting a foul ball back to the catcher to end the inning.
Drake Trawhon led off the bottom of the first for the Bears with a walk from Robertson. Trawhon stole second and then a sacrifice-bunt by Vinny Hale sent him down to third base. A Michael Lee RBI double sent Trawhon home for an early Bear advantage, 1-0, after one complete. Trawhon finished the night 3-for-4 with two runs scored for the Bears.
The Bears and Mustangs failed to muster much in the second as both squads went three-up-three-down. WO-S got things going again in the third inning. After Keyshawn Holeman led out with a strikeout, Payton Robertson dropped a single to shallow center. Miller followed suit with a single dropping into right field. Jack Dallas scored Robertson on a fielder’s choice to tie the game at one run a piece.
LC-M again got a lift from Trawhon in the bottom of the third with a lead off double to left field that Holeman misjudged due to the windy conditions. Trawhon took third after another Hale sacrifice bunt. The Bears loaded the bases after a Robertson walk. Trawhon scored his second run of the night after a wild pitch by Robertson that catcher Chad Dallas could not corral. Robertson walked eight batters on the night. The Bears led, 2-1, through four innings of play.
A sloppy fifth inning is what initially gave the game away for the Bears. After Holeman struck out for the second time, Robertson would strike out as well, but Bears’ catcher dropped the pitch and over threw first base to finalize the strikeout allowing Robertson to head to second base. Miller drove a deep double to put the tie runner on third base. A shallow fly ball to right field by Jack Dallas was dropped by Truman Franklin allowing two unearned Mustang runs as Robertson and Miller both scored to give the lead to the Mustangs. Following a couple of walks Dallas would take a free run after Tezeno was hit by a pitch with bases loaded. Mustangs left the fifth inning with a 4-2 advantage.
The Bears went one-two-three on their next at bat and ended the sixth inning with two runners stranded. The Mustangs defense made plays when needed and Robertson struck out the final two of the sixth to put pressure on the Bears offense heading into the final inning of play.
LC-M put two runners on the bags with the possible tying run at first after Robertson walked two. Ragsdale got the call to finish off the final inning with one out and two on. He struck out the first batter he faced, but an error by the Stangs in an attempted pick off at second base sent home Kade Bland to pull the Bears within one run with two outs. Michael Lee ended the Bears night with a long shot to the center field wall, but Blake Robertson was able to run it down for the final out.
WO-S will host Silsbee Tuesday while LC-M visits Orangefied.