Bears edge past Raiders, 4-3

Published 8:45 pm Friday, April 12, 2019

By Caleb Adams

Leader Correspondent


LITTLE CYPRESS — The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears outlasted the Lumberton Raiders 4-3 in District 22-4A play at Don Gibbens Field Friday night.

In what was a nail bitter, the Bears (19-7, 6-2) did just enough to beat the Raiders (7-14-1, 1-8) thanks to Taylor Gilbert’s bat and Thayne Toomey’s ability to get out of situations.

Toomey would get the start for the Bears on the mound. He would go five and one-third innings, giving up three runs, three hits, two walks and three strikeouts on just 69 pitches. Toomey used the groundball and pop-up to get players out and keep his pitch count on the lower side. With a lacking of offense, for the most part, Toomey’s performance really helped keep the Bears floating above water until they could take the lead mid-way through the game.

Taylor Gilbert had a big night with all of his at bats impacting the game in a big way. Gilbert would knock in two RBI’s with his first two at bats with sac flies on each to tie the game at two. His third at bat would be a booming double that bounced off the wall to bring in his, and the teams’ third run of the game, again to tie it.

Gilbert’s bat was a big reason the Bears had a chance this game, as the rest of the offense was rather quiet.

The Raiders jumped ahead early with a two-run homer from Trent Myers. Bryce Townsend walked with two outs to bring up the cleanup hitter in Myers. On the first pitch Myers sent one flying into the trees over the left field fence. That’s all they would find, but the Raiders did lead 2-0 after the top of the first inning.

The Bears responded with quick offense in the bottom of the first. Leadoff batter Jordan Alexander would single and be pushed around to third by a Max Dileo hit. Gilbert would hit one high and deep to left center, deep enough for Alexander to tag up and score from third base to cut the Raider lead to just one. Gilbert’s RBI iwas the only run for the Bears this inning, as the Raiders led 2-1 after the first inning was done.

LC-M made the next strike thanks to a couple of leadoff walks and hits to take advantage. Austin Smith and Alexander would draw the walks and be pushed up a base by a Dileo sac bunt. Gilbert would repeat his last at bat and hit another high sacrifice fly to score Smith from third base. That’s all the Bears would find as the Bears and Raiders were tied after three innings of play at 2-2.

The Raiders scored on an error from the Bears to take the lead 3-2. Pitcher Thoomey would attempt a pickoff on the runner at third base, but after a bad throw Drake Boykin would score after getting on with a double.

Gilbert comes up big with big hit in the bottom of the fifth inning. Alexander walked and got pushed over by Dileo with a sac bunt. Gilbert would connect with one, taking it to deep left center and bouncing off the fence. Gilbert would get to second and Alexander would score from second to tie the game.

The Bears wouldn’t stop there as Hunter Perkins brought in Gilbert from third base on a sac fly to shallow right field as the Bears took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth.

Dileo would come in to relieve Toomey in the top of the sixth with one out, and close the game for the Bears. Dileo did that job perfectly retiring each batter with no one reaching base. Dileo collects a save and helped lock up the win for the Bears.

LC-M keeps the dream of winning the district title alive with a close victory, and one they really needed moving forward as they will venture to Orange County rival Bridge City Monday.