Tuesday, June 13, 2006

SPORTS >> Pitchers dominate in Bruins' triumph

Leader sports writer

IN SHORT: Sylvan Hills’ and Cabot’s pitchers dominated a AAA encounter, but the Bruins did just enough to pull out a 2-1 victory Monday in Cabot.

Sylvan Hills’ Carter Lance and Cabot’s Justin Haas turned Monday night’s game between the Bruins and Home Depot Legion AAA teams into a pitchers’ duel. Both young men went the distance on the mound for their respective teams. Haas put up very respectable numbers for Home Depot with five hits, two earned runs, and one walk along with six strikeouts.

Lance gave up even less for Sylvan Hills. Three hits and two walks is all the big right hander would allow, also topping Cabot’s southpaw in the strikeout department by one with seven on the evening. He had 95 pitches in seven innings to take the win.

“We didn’t hit the ball like we have been,” Bruins coach Mike Bromley said. “Their little lefty did a good job on the mound for them. I thought Carter Lance did an outstanding job on the mound for us, he looked in control, and that’s what we want to see. It wasn’t our best day hitting, but we did what we had to do to win the ball game.”

Chase Elder tagged-up on a SAC from Bruins first baseman Tony Pavan for Sylvan Hills’ first run in the top of the fourth inning. The second and final run was scored on a double to center from Elder that brought in Gwatney in the fifth inning. Both teams started out strong defensively in the opening inning. Haas sent the Bruins three-and-out, as Lance did the same to Home Depot.

The first offensive highlight did not occur until the top of the second inning. Pavan hit a single to center, followed by a single to left from Jerry Lawson. The hits came after Haas had already forced two pop-ups, and Haas was able force another fly for the final out, this time from eight-hole hitter Ryan Wood. The Bruins left both runners on base, and Cabot avoided the early threat.

Lance also gave up his first hit in the second. Justin Free hopped it to center for a Cabot hit, followed by a walk for Drew Burks.

Lance had started the inning with a strikeout on Gross, and got his rhythm back with strikeouts on Murphy and Burgan to leave the Cabot runners on first and second.

Both teams collected a hit each in the third inning, but neither would go past first base. Gwatney sent it to left for a single during the Bruins’ turn, but the hit came with two outs for Sylvan Hills. Garlington followed Gwatney in the order, and popped up to Cabot centerfielder Corey Wade for the third out of the inning.

Trey Rosel bunted for the infield hit in the bottom of the third. Rosel led off for Home Depot, but the following three batters all popped up for outs, leaving Rosel on the bag at the end of Cabot’s turn.

The errors for Cabot were few, but the first was most costly. Elder started the top of the fourth for Sylvan Hills with a pop-up to center, but a fielding error allowed him all the way to second base. Jarrett Boles moved him to third with a single grounder to left field, and Pavan popped it up to center for the sacrifice fly.

Boles made it to second when Elder scored, but the final two batters popped out to center, leaving him on.

Free got his second hit for Cabot in the fourth, but didn’t make it past first. Lance shut down the next two batters with a K and a 5-3 grounder to take it to the fifth inning.

It looked like the fifth would be Haas’ strongest inning. Lead-off batter Bogard and following batter Roark both went down with strikeouts, and No. 3 hitter Gwatney was down in the count. A slight slip from Haas hit Gwatney in the shoulder, moving him to first base.

Grant Garlington followed that with a single to left that moved Gwatney to second. Elder then layed down the biggest hit of the entire game.

Elder’s double was the only non-single hit of the night. It also managed to score Gwatney for the Bruins’ final run of the game.

Cabot put two runners on base in the sixth inning. Free was hit by a pitch, followed by a walk for Murphy twobatters later.
With two runners on and two outs, Cabot finished its inning with a pop-up from Shane Burgan.

The bottom of the seventh would be even less productive for Cabot. Lance sent Home Depot three-and-out in the final frame to seal the win.

Sylvan Hills now has a record of 14-4. Cabot’s record fell to 3-3 for the AAA squad. Cabot will host Russellville tomorrow at 6 p.m. Sylvan Hills will play Pine Bluff at home tomorrow at 6 p.m., after hosting a double header against Jacksonville’s Gwatney Chevrolet at Sherwood last night after Leader deadlines.