Cardinals punish Silsbee in Game One

Published 10:01 pm Thursday, May 18, 2017

By Caleb Adams

Leader Correspondent

BEAUMONT — The Bridge City Cardinals stunned the Silsbee Tigers in unexpected fashion, ten-run ruling them in six innings with a final of 11-1 at Lamar University’s Vincent-Beck Stadium Thursday night in Game One of their best-of-three Class 4A Region III quarterfinal series.

With Vincent-Beck Stadium packed for the game, the atmosphere felt energetic and involved throughout the game and the importance of the game was felt.

Silsbee (25-6) had downed the Cardinals (19-12) two times this year in District 22-4A play with a cumulative score of 21-2. In this game, that statistic meant absolutely nothing as the Cardinals are playing hotter than they have all year. The whole lineup was hitting above average and playing smart, good sign for the series ahead.

Game Two of the series will be back at Vincent-Beck Saturday at 2 p.m. followed by Game Three if necessary.

Since dropping a 2-1 nine-inning decision to Huntington in Game One of their bidistrict series, the Cardinals have outscored their opponents 57-6 in their last five games.

Coach Chad Landry gave freshman Peyton Havard the start in Game One and the ninth grader showed no jitters. It was Havard’s first start of the year, but he threw 24 innings on the season. With that said in the first few innings where you expect the jitters, he showed his youth with letting runners on, but also showed his maturity in being able to lock it down and limit the outcome to little or none.

Havard would finish the night with four strikeouts, three walks and allowed five hits while allowing one run in six innings pitched.

Just as impressive was the Cardinal lineup as they touched Silsbee ace Trevis Sundgren for seven hits in five innings as he allowed five runs, striking out four while walking two.

The whole season Bridge City has tried to play small ball with bunts and hit and runs, and today it has paid off the most it has all season. No one was an exception to the plan as everyone at one point showed bunt.

Tigers struck first in the opening inning. Paxton Bryan led off with an error from the Bridge City third baseman. Ethan Dunn moved him to third with a single to right field. Chase Partain drove in the run with an infield single for the first runoff the game as the Tigers took an early 1-0 lead after the first inning.

The Cardinals strike back the next at bat. Kevin Gordon got on with a walk and Luc Hollier bunted him over to second with a sacrifice. Jackson Tims drove in Gordon with a hard single up the middle to knot things up after one.

In the top of the second Schuyler Thibodaux led off with another single for the Cardinals. Logan Hamm reached with a bunt single. Caleb Dubois moves them both over with a sac bunt and Justyn Romero knocked in Thibodaux’s pinch runner Brady Coulter for a 2-1 lead after two and a half innings.

The Cardinals broke it open with more runs in the top of the fifth. Thibodaux and Hamm reached base to lead off the inning. Dubois put down a bunt to move the runners to scoring position, but the Tigers make the first big mistake of the game and threw it wide to first and both runners scored on the error and Dubois reaches third on the play. Gordon brought in Dubois with a single to the left side for another run.

Bridge City has no plans of letting Silsbee comeback in this game as they tacked on more offense in the top of the sixth inning. Gavin Green reached on a single to left. Thibodaux knocked him in after Green stole his way to third. Hamm came up huge and roped a long triple down the right field line to drive in Coulter, who was running for Thibodaux. Dubois hit a hard liner to right to drive in Hamm as the Cardinals, at this point were just adding insurance to their already large lead, and they weren’t done there.

In the same inning the Cardinals manage to load the bases. With Dubois already on Romero hit a single and Gordon reached on an error. Luc Hollier drove in Dubois with a sac fly to center field to stretch the lead to 9-1. Brady Coulter hit for Tims and forced a walk and Case Skinner, hitting for Taron Burch, stroked a single to shallow right to drive in two more runs in the form of Romero and Gordon as the Cardinals snared a 11-1 advantage.

The Cardinals show why they deserve to be playing in the playoffs and that it wasn’t just who they played. The Cardinals look to take the series win Saturday.