Bridge City pitches Tigers out of baseball playoffs

Cardinals shut out Rock hitters in area round
BY BILL MARTIN
Reporter Sports Editor

NEW CA N EY—Rockda le entered its area-round series with Bridge City having scored in double figures in four of its last six games.

The Bridge City pitching staff put an end to the Tigers double vision.

The No. 2 Cardinal hurlers did not allow the Tigers to cross the plate once in a 10-0, 2-0 best-of-three series victory in the Class 3A, Region baseball playoffs at picturesque New Caney Porter Field.

The bi-district champions end the season 20-14 as only the fourth team in school history to reach the 20-win plateau.

Bridge City (24-2) moves on with a 22- win streak in tow to face Huffman-Harg rave in the quarterfinals in a one-game playoff Thursd ay. Huff- man-Hargrave knocked out Tiger district mate Caldwell.

The Cardinals—who have not lost a game since Feb. 24—have made it to the semifinals round the past three years.

LaGrange remains in the playoffs and will battle Bellville Friday at Mumford in a one-game playoff.


Rockdale right fielder Stephen Ehler flags down a fly ball off the bat of Bridge City’s Mitchel Hubbard in the third inning of the Tigers’ 2-0 loss to the Cardinals to be eliminated from the state playoffs. 
Reporter/Cliff Dungan Rockdale right fielder Stephen Ehler flags down a fly ball off the bat of Bridge City’s Mitchel Hubbard in the third inning of the Tigers’ 2-0 loss to the Cardinals to be eliminated from the state playoffs. Reporter/Cliff Dungan “I was extremely proud of how our guys responded after Friday night’s loss,” said firstyear Rockdale Coach Clay Cox. “They came out and went toe to toe with the number two team in the state. It would have been very easy to come out Saturday and just roll over, but these guys refused to do that. They gave Bridge City all they wanted”

“Words can’t describe how proud I am of what this team has accomplished. Coming off a 7-19 season just a year ago, we posted only the fourth 20-win season in school history. This team left its mark on the program and the future is bright.


Rockdale third baseman Duke Schneider puts down a late tag on Bridge City’s Cameron Dishon in the third inning of the Tigers’ 2-0 loss to the Cardinals Saturday. 
Reporter/Bill Martin Rockdale third baseman Duke Schneider puts down a late tag on Bridge City’s Cameron Dishon in the third inning of the Tigers’ 2-0 loss to the Cardinals Saturday. Reporter/Bill Martin “The new era of Tiger Baseball has begun with a bang.”

Facing elimination Saturday, the Tigers were coming off a nohit effort from Cardinal pitcher Jake Lemoine in the 10-0 loss.

While Bridge City hung its hat on sterling pitching, Tiger starter Ethan Brinkley was equal to the task, serving up a steady diet of off-speed pitches and curve balls that kept the Cardinals spinning in the batter’s box all afternoon.

The left hander (4-2) allowed just four hits (all singles) and did not allow an earned run in the 2-0 loss.

The two runs came after a costly Tiger error in the third with two outs in the inning.

“Ethan pitched a gem,” Cox said. “He did a great job of getting ground balls and fly balls and letting his defense play.”


Tiger catcher Austin Caffey threw out three Bridge City base runners Saturday in the Tigers’ 2-0 loss. Tiger catcher Austin Caffey threw out three Bridge City base runners Saturday in the Tigers’ 2-0 loss. Rockdale out-hit the Cardinals 5-4, including a pair of doubles from Tate Pounders and Duke Schneider, but could not punch a run across.

Pounders’ double in the third inning was the Tigers’ first hit of the series.

Schneider was the only Rockdale runner to reach third base after his double in the fourth, Ty Kirk moved him to third with a single, where he remained.

With pinpoint control, Hayden Guidry logged the victory for the Cardinals, striking out nine batters without walking a single hitter.

Bridge City entered the series having allowed a miniscule nine runs in 10 district games, including five shutouts.

“We were able to get some guys on base Saturday, but Bridge City did what good teams do and managed to keep them from scoring,” Cox said.

Opener

Jake Lemoine tossed a no-hitter at the Tigers in Bridge City’s 10-0 win in the series opener Friday night.

The 6 -foot- 5 Universit y of Houston-signee sat down eight Tigers and used just 71 pitches in the run-rule shortened contest and was regularly clocked in the low-to-mid 90s.

The Cardinals collected just five hits, but worked Tiger pitchers Pounders and Schneider for 11 base-on-balls and were hit by pitches three times.

The f leet-footed Cardinals— who set a school record for stolen bases this season—also swiped seven bases on the evening

Cameron Dishon (double) and Mitchel Hubbard (triple) each had a pair of hits and runs batted in for Bridge City, which led 7-0 after two innings.

Rockdale ace Pounders (6-3) never got comfortable and was pulled in the second inning after giving up seven runs and six walks.

Schneider finished up, allowing three hits and five walks.

“Lemoine came out and did a fantastic job on the mound silencing our bats.

“We walked 11 and hit three. Seven of their 10 runs that scored were put on base by a free pass. You can’t do that against top tier teams and expect to be in the game.”

Rockdale will be in rebuilding mode next season, losing nine seniors and returning starters Brinkley, Gibbs and Austin Caffey.

Br ink ley led the Tigers in five offensive categories in 2012 including batting average at .402

ROCKDALE STATISTICS

HITTING—Brinkley 35-87 .402; Stewart 30-87 .346; Ehler 17-60 .340; Kirk 26-77 .338; Schneider 16-51 .314; Skubal 27-79 .342; Pounders 23-77 .299; Gibbs 27-90 .300; Garza 12- 52 .231; Caffey 16 -72 .222; McCartney 6-22 .273. Runs—Brinkley 30, Gibbs 29 RBI—Stewart 25, Brinkley 23 2B—Kirk 7, Brinkley 6 3B—Gibbs 4, Stewart 4 HR—Skubal 2, Stewart 2 SB—Gibbs 15, Brinkley 12 Pitching—Pounders 6-3 4.21; Brinkley 4-2 2.70; Skubal 2-1 5.68; Schneider 2-3 6.75; Stewart 2-2 5.21; Gibbs 3-2 3.27; Loth 1-0, 0.00.Offield 0-1 54.00

Bridge City 2, Rockdale 0

Rockdale 000 000 0—0 5 2
Bridge City 002 000 X—2 4 1
Caffey and Brinkley; Menard
and Guidry. W-Guidry. L-Brinkley
(4-2). 2B-Pounders, Schneider (R).
Records—Rockdale 20-14, Bridge
City 24-2.
Bridge City 10, Rockdale 0
Bridge City 340 120—10 5 0
Rockdale 000 000— 0 0 0
Menard and Lemoine; Caffey and
Pounders, Schneider (2). W-Lemoine.
L-Pounders 6-3. 2B-Dishon
(BC). 3B-Hubbard (BC). Records—
Rockdale 20-13, Bridge City 23-2.


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