The Bridge City baseball team was dealt a tough hand last season. The Cardinals won all 16 games they played before the Coronavirus pandemic cancelled the season. They are the only undefeated team in Bridge City history.
Coach Chad Landry will have some top Cardinals back from that excellent team. Two leaders will be Sam Carpenter and Slade Foreman both four-year members of the Bridge City varsity.
Kade Benoit will anchor first base for the Cardinals and be a designated hitter while also playing some in the outfield. Cayden Baker is a senior who will get more playing time as the catcher.
Another senior Trevor Vale who will get some time on the pitching mound. Jude Danks is a senior who will play middle infield for Bridge City. “They’re finally getting their chance to play, they’ve waited their turn, the group in front of them had five four-year starters, so they have their opportunity now, and we’re excited to see those guys on the field,” Landry expressed.
The Bridge City baseball program always has some new Cardinals to step up to the varsity and Landry said this year is no exception. Coach Landry predicted, “We might get our get our teeth kicked in early, but we’ll grow, we’ll get better, and we’ll get ready for district.”
There are a bunch of new faces including sophomore Justin Abate who will pitch and be a utility player. Brice Swanton is also a sophomore and will play at shortstop.
Juniors Draven Marlow and JT Fielder are expected to get playing time. Freshman John Van Huis is going to be special seeing time in left field to get his feet wet.
During the early scrimmages the Cardinals have swung the bat well. Landry has been impressed with their offense.
Unlike many early scrimmages where there are too many strikeouts, the Cardinals are putting the ball in play consistently. They are applying pressure on the opposition which Landry wants to see from his team.
The Bridge City batting order is not written up yet for Coach Landry, but the leadoff batter Slade Foreman has been inked in. “We’ve got some guys that we think we can do some things with, but it all starts with Slade up top,” Landry emphasized.
Landry has a starter in Sam Carpenter and a closer in Slade Foreman and several other arms to look at to determine the pitching rotation for the Cardinals. The coach has thrown eleven different pitchers in the early scrimmages.
The search is for more arms with a little consistency that can eat up some innings. It is the first time out on the mound for some of the young Cardinal pitchers which means there are still some nerves to overcome.
The quest during the scrimmages and early non-district games is to find a second starting pitcher and a number three who can start. Landry summarized, “We’re looking for some guys who can throw it over the white thing and get outs.”
The first three weeks of the season will be extremely important for the Cardinals. The tournament season provides a tough schedule for Bridge City that will challenge the Cardinals and hopefully will help the younger players learn how to deal with adversity. Coach Landry is confident they will grow from it and get better.
Bridge City will face a tough underrated district this season. A very good Orangefield ball club has been elevated back into the league and Vidor has dropped down from 5-A to join the other quality teams in the district.
Coach Landry analyzed the Cardinals’ prospects in probably its best district for several seasons. “We’ve got our hands full, it’s a tossup right now. I just hope that we can grow, our young guys get experience, and be the best team at the right time of the season. Not necessarily right now, maybe in a month from now is where we’ll need to be, and that’s my job and our coaching staff’s job to get us ready to go in a month,” Landry concluded.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-