Cards gearing up for Jasper in regional quarterfinals

Published 9:10 am Monday, May 14, 2018

BRIDGE CITY — Looking to continue their swagger in the Class 4A Region III playoffs, the District 22-4A champion Bridge City Cardinals will look to derail some stout Jasper Bulldogs when the two teams battle it out in the regional quarterfinals this week.

The two teams will play a best-of-three series at possibly three different venues.

Game One will bee Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Jasper High School. Game Two will be Friday at Nederland High School. Game Three, if necessary, will be Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Lamar University.

Coach Chad Landry’s Cardinals (25-7-1) fought off a hard-nosed Hardin-Jefferson team in the area round last week as they eliminated the Hawks with 3-2 and 5-0 victories at Lamar University.

The Cardinals received strong pitching from Peyton Havard, Jacob Goodman, Logan Hamm and Justyn Romero as hits were hard to come by for the Hawks.

Bridge City used timely hitting to punch in some runs against solid H-J pitching as well.

The Bulldogs (27-5-1), who shared the District 21-4A title with Lufkin Hudson but entered the postseason as that districts’ top seed, held back a upstart Tarkington squad in the area round, winning the series with 5-1 and 2-1 victories.

The Bulldogs are coached by former West Orange-Stark head coach and assistant coach Stephen Westbrook.

The Cardinals will be looking to bounce back against the Bulldogs after Bridge City suffered two of their losses at the hands of Jasper earlier this season. Jasper defeated the Cardinals 11-5 at the Jasper Tournament Mar. 13 and defeated the Cardinals 14-7 in Bridge City Mar. 16.

Just like the Cardinals, the Bulldogs have a deep pitching staff led by the likes of Colton Womack (8-1), Ben Jeansonne (7-0) and Michael Soisson (6-1).

Womack has worked 60 innings with a 1.74 earned run average. Jeansonne has went 55 frames with a 1>14 ERA and Soisson has went 44 innings with a 1.11 ERA.

The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 251-97 on the season.

The Bulldogs are hitting .307 as a team.

Reese Durand has certainly been a tough out as he is hitting at a .364 clip with six home runs and 32 runs batted in.

Leo Escalante is batting .364 and has three home runs and a whopping 42 RBI. Soisson leads the squad with a .410 average to go along with 21 RBI.

Both squads zipped through bidistrict playoff action with sweeps.

The Cardinals defeated Huntington 8-2 and 8-1 while the Bulldogs dispatched Silsbee 4-3 and 8-1.

The winner of the Bridge City-Jasper series will face either 17-4A champion Robinson or 18-4A champion Madisonville in the regional semifinals next week.

Robinson defeated Liberty Hill 8-0 and 13-1 in the area round and toppled Mexia 17-1 and 10-0 in bidistrict. Madisonville defeated Taylor 8-6 and 1-0 in the area round and blanked Hillsboro 1-0 a0 in the bidistrict round.

In the Class 5A Region III quarterfinals District 22-5A champion Nederland will face Barbers Hill at the University of Houston in a three-game series. Game One is Wednesday at 7 p.m. Game Two is Saturday at 5 p.m. with Game Three to follow if necessary.