The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears kept their chances for a district title alive Friday at Don Gibbens Field. LC-M rallied to defeat the Lumberton Raiders 4-3 and remain a game out of first place.
The game started early to avoid the possibility of rain Friday night. Rain did fall earlier during the day, but was gone when the game started at 5:30 PM. Don Gibbens Field was in good condition, and the game saw no ill effects from the rain.
Lumberton was looking for an upset of the Bears to help salvage the season for the Raiders who have just one district win. Trent Myers hit a two-out, two-run homer in the first inning to give the Raiders the early lead.
The Bears got one back in the bottom of the initial frame. Jason Alexander led off with a single and went to third on a single to right by Max Dileo. Taylor Gilbert hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Alexander and make the score 2-1 after one.
Following a similar pattern Little Cypress-Mauriceville tied the game in the third. Austin Smith drew a leadoff walk followed by Alexander who also walked. Dileo sacrificed both runners up a base before Gilbert hit another sacrifice fly to left bringing in Smith to tie the game 2-2.
Lumberton retook the advantage in the top of the fourth. Drake Boykin lined a double down the left field line to start the inning. He went to third on a ground out to shortstop. The Bears got a little too fancy and attempted a tricky pick off of Boykin, but the throw went wild and he trotted home with the Raiders third run and a 3-2 lead for Lumberton.
The Raiders changed pitchers to start the bottom of the fourth. Myers replaced starter Ryan Young. He walked a batter with two outs before getting a strikeout to end the LC-M fourth.
In the fifth inning the Bears had the top of the batting order up just like in the first. Alexander walked for the second time and went to second on a clutch two-strike bunt by Dileo. Taylor drove in his third run of the game with a double off the centerfield fence just missing a homerun. Taylor leads the team with 25 runs batted in on the season.
With the score tied Anthony Bandiero walked before Ty Shugart reached on an error to load the bases. Hunter Perkins flew out to right field, and Gilbert tagged up to score making it 4-3 in favor of LC-M.
Coach Steve Griffith allowed the Bears’ starting pitcher Thayne Toomey to get a ground out to start the sixth inning before calling on Dileo to close out the game. Max did just that retiring all five Raiders he faced to earn his second save of the season.
Toomey got the victory for LC-M to go to 2-0 on the season. He gave up just two earned runs in his 5 1/3 innings of work. Toomey and Dileo retired the last 12 Lumberton batters they faced after the double by Boykin.
A big district ball game is scheduled next week as Little Cypress-Mauriceville travels to Bridge City to play the first place Cardinals. The Bears won the first meeting between the two at Don Gibbens Field. Bridge City and Hardin-Jefferson were scheduled to play Friday night in Sour Lake, but the weather postponed the game to Saturday. The winner of that game should have sole possession of first place in the district.
LUM 2 0 0 1 0 0 0- 3
LCM 1 0 1 0 2 0 X- 4