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Big 7th inning propels Bears past Caldwell

HUMBLE — A big five-run rally in the top of the seventh inning lifted the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears to a 9-4 Game One victory over the Caldwell Hornets in their best-of-three Class 4A area round playoff series Friday night at Summer Creek High School.

The Bears notched three doubles and a single in the seventh to seal it.

Mitchell Lee led off the top of the seventh with a walk and Michael Lee promptly roped a double to put two runners in scoring position.

Senior catcher Grant White then made the Hornets pay, ripping a two-run double that sent the Lee boys home for the 6-4 edge.

The Bears were not through. Tyler McCorvy drew a walk and Peyton Choate ripped a two-run double to up the lead to 8-4.

Drake Trawhon made it 9-4 with a RBI double to let Choate trot in.

Game Two of the series will be back at Humble Summer Creek today at 2 p.m. with Game Three, if necessary, to follow 30 minutes later.

The Bears (21-10) received solid pitching from both Slade Green and Christian Fuselier to turn back the Hornets (14-13).

The Bears struck for a run in the top of the first off Hornets’ starter Joseph Crnkovic.

Drake Trawhon slapped a leadoff single to centerfield. He moved to second after a nice sacrifice bunt by Vinny Hale and scored on a two-out single by Michael Lee to left center.

The Hornets drew even in the bottom of the third.

Will Faust roped a leadoff single to left and advanced to second after a wild pitch and to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kade Sanchez. Faust scored when Mitchell Parks lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center.

The Bears went back up in the top of the fourth.

Michael Lee led off with a sharp single to left and moved to second after a Grant White sacrifice bunt. Lee was able to scoot to third on a passed ball and scored after a Trumain Franklin grounder to third was misfielded for a big error.

LC-M struck again in the top of the fifth.

Seth Dronett drew a leadoff walk. With one out, Hale stroked a single to left and Mitchell Lee made Crnkovic pay with a RBI single as Dronett raced home.

Crnkovic was then replaced by Dennis Englemann. Crnkovic worked 4 1/3 innings, allowing six hits while striking out four and walking one.

The Hornets retaliated in the bottom of the fifth with the help of some Bear errors along with three hits.

Kent Smith reached on a one-out error and Ethan Ray followed with a single to right. Ethan Blinka followed suit with a RBI double to left to trim the margin to 3-2. Englemann then hit a grounder and a throwing error to first enabled Ray to score to tie it up.

The Bears intentionally walked Nathan Cunningham to load the bases and Chandler Norman cranked a RBI single to left to plate Blinka to give Caldwell the 4-3 edge. Englemann was tagged out after trying to steal home for the second out. Green walked Faust to load the bases but got out of it by fanning Chance Norman.

Tyler McCorvy drew a one-out walk and Franklin reached on an error and Peyton Choate walked to load the bases. McCorvy drew the Bears back even when he rushed in to score on a passed ball.

After walking Parks to start the bottom of the sixth, Green was relieved on the Bear hill by Fuselier. Green worked five innings allowing four hits while fanning seven and walking five. Fuselier allowed two hits while fanning three.

The winner of the LC-M-Caldwell series will face either Silsbee or Navasota in the regional quarterfinals next week.