Falcons squeeze past Bears in Game One

Published 9:44 pm Friday, May 11, 2018

LITTLE CYPRESS — Digging themselves an early hole, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears rallied late but still fell short to the Huffman Falcons 4-2 in Game One of their Class 4A Region III Area Round playoff series Friday night at Gibbens Field.

The Falcons (18-8-1), District 23-4A champions, tallied three runs in the top of the fifth inning and then held off the Bears (30-6), 22-4A runnerups, who scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Game Two of the series will shift to Crosby High School Saturday at 4 p.m. Game Three, if necessary, will follow 30 minutes after Game Two.

Huffman pitcher Tyler Price went the distance for the Falcons as he scattered four hits while striking out eight and walking one.

The Bears utilized five different pitchers.

Huffman finished with just five hits but also took advantage of nine walks.

The Falcons struck for a run in the top of the second inning.

Matthew Dorcz opened it up with a leadoff infield single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Blake Boss. Jacob Hortch followed with a single to center and Luke Bailey drew a walk to load the bases as LC-M starter Anthony Bandiero left the game after tossing 1 1/3 innings, allowing two hits while walking five and striking out two.

Grant O’Neil drew a bases-loaded walk to score Dorcz to give the Falcons a one-run edge.

Taylor Gilbert replaced Bandiero on the hill and worked 3 2/3 innings, allowing three hits while walking for and fanning two.

O’Neil got the Falcons goping in the top of the fifth with a leadoff single down the leftfield line and Ben Leisure drew a walk from Gilbert.

With one out, Will Johnson sent a deep RBI double to centerfield to plate O’Neil to make it 2-0. The Bears elected to intentionally walk Cam McMahon to try to induce a double play ball but unfortunately it backfired as Dorcz slapped a two-run single up the middle.

The Bears showed plenty of fight though in the bottom half of the fifth.

Gilbert got it going when he ripped a Price offering for a double to rightfield and Max Dileo followed with a single up the middle.

Jordan Alexander then came up big with a RBI single between third and short as Gilbert cruised in to score.

With one out, Michael Lee scored Dileo with a RBI groundout to first base.

Thayne Toomey tossed one inning for the Bears, allowing no hits while Slade Green and Reagan Burdette combined to strike out the side in the seventh.

Price finished the seventh up strong as he finished with exactly 111 pitches as he struck out the last two Bears.

LC-M’s other hit of the night came in the bottom of the second when Chris Bilbo sent a single between short and second.

Huffman loaded the bases in the top of the first due to three walks but Bandiero got out of a jam by fanning McMahon.