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Bobcats clip Hawks in Game One of Regional Quarterfinal series

BEAUMONT – Scoring on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Orangefield Bobcats squeezed past the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks 3-2 in Game One of their best-of-3 Class 4A Regional Quarterfinal Thursday night at Lamar University’s Vincent-Beck Stadium.

After the Hawks (24-8-1) scored a run with two outs in the top half of the seventh to knot things up, the Bobcats (22-7-2) found an answer to avoid extra innings.

Game Two is scheduled for Friday at Vincent-Beck Stadium while Game Three, if necessary, will be at Vincent-Beck Saturday at 1 p.m.

Bobcat Jason Bodin, who was 2-for-3, set the table in the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff single up the middle off H-J starter Hunter Hill. With one out, Bryce Bergeron sent a single to left, as Hill was then removed from the game. H-J put in reliever Tyler Baack and he walked Macoy Marze to load the bases and then walked Kamryn Henderson as Bodin trotted in proudly with the game-winning run.

Bergeron earned the win on the hill for the Bobcats to improve to an impressive 11-1 for the season. He went all seven innings, allowing five hits while striking out four and walking two.

Hill went 6 1/3 innings for H-J, allowing seven hits while fanning two and walking one.

The Hawks struck for a run in the top of the first inning.

Landon McLeod started it with a triple and zipped home on a RBI single to left by Kevin Borque.

The Bobcats evened things up in the bottom of the first.

Henderson, who went 2-for-3, led off with a single and swiped second, Henderson went to third on a single by Tyler Shearin. Shearin, who finished 2-for-3, wound up stealing second and Kolbie Sowell gave the Bobcats a run when he plated Henderson with a sacrifice fly to left.

The Bobcats grabbed the lead in the bottom of the third as it was Henderson and Shearin that set the tone again.

Henderson got it going with a one-out double down the third base line and Shearin followed with a RBI single in the gap to give the Bobcats a 2-1 edge.

Bergeron got out of a nice jam in the top of the sixth.

Borque, who went 2-for-3, roped a two-out double off the leftfield wall and Max Brown drew a walk. Both runners advanced into scoring position after a wild pitch but Bergeron buckled down, getting Sage Roberts to fly out to centerfield.

The Hawks evened things up in the top of the seventh with two outs.

Wyatt Smith led it off with a single to left. Bergeron struck out Jacob Weldon and then got Collin Pomirko to hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing Smith out at second. Dominick Breaux tied it with a double in the gap. Bergeron got Hunter Fontenot to ground out, but the Hawks were able to knot things up.

The winner of the Orangefield-H-J series will meet Rusk in the Region III Semifinals next week. Rusk toppled China Spring 3-1 in a 13-inning affair Thursday to advance as that was just a one-gamer.