Monday, June 08, 2009

SPORTS >> Gwatney seniors win, junior team falls

Leader sportswriter

What Seth Tomboli didn’t do with the bat, he did with his arm. He did plenty with both in Gwatney Chevrolet’s 8-1 cruise past Maumelle in senior American Legion action on Thursday at Maumelle as the Chevy Boys picked up their first win of the season to improve to 1-4.

Tomboli struck out 10 batters and tossed a 4-hitter, while going 3 of 3 with a pair of doubles and two RBI at the plate.

The big inning was the fourth for the Chevy Boys, who erupted for five runs on five hits. The big blow was A.J. Allen’s no-doubt home run to left that brought home Devon McClure. McClure had a big game of his own, going 2 of 4 with a triple and a pair of runs scored. That was on top of his 2-of-3, 2-RBI performance in the junior Legion game earlier.

Allen’s blast was just the beginning for Gwatney. Mike Harmon followed with a single, Terrell Brown walked and Jason Regnas was safe on a force play on Brown. After Harmon came home on a wild pitch, Patrick Castleberry ripped an RBI single and Tomboli doubled in Castleberry to make it 6-0.

Tomboli ran into his only trouble in the bottom of the inning. Tyler Wisdom made an outstanding diving catch in right center field to open the frame but two bloop singles and a solid base hit produced a run, and a walk to the next batter loaded the bases with one out.

But Tomboli recorded his fourth and fifth strikeouts to retire the side, and Maumelle didn’t collect a hit the rest of the way.

Head coach Bob Hicking-botham is still trying to get his entire team together, never an easy proposition in the early going of Legion season. The Chevy Boys were without Jared Toney and Tommy Sanders on Thursday, but they packed plenty of firepower without them, piling up 10 hits on the night.

Gwatney used a two-out rally to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Castleberry drew a walk and Tomboli doubled him home. Tomboli allowed a one-out single in the first before retiring the next nine Maumelle batters.

Gwatney added to its 6-1 lead in the fifth when McClure singled, went to second on a wild pitch, moved over to third on Allen’s ground out and scored on another wild pitch.

The Chevy Boys’ final tally of the night came in the sixth. Regnas walked, reached third on a pair of passed balls and scored on Tomboli’s single.

Tomboli walked two and hit a batter and the Chevy Boys committed one error. In addition to his three hits, Wisdom and McClure had two each. The senior Legion team travels to Russellville on Sunday before returning home to host Sylvan Hills next Thursday.

Maumelle 5,
Gwatney Junior 3

The Chevy Boys’ junior Legion team couldn’t overcome a slew of mistakes in falling to 6-2 on the season.

Gwatney committed four errors, had two base runners picked off and failed to cover a base on another occasion. The result was a loss, despite out-hitting Maumelle 7-6.
Starter and loser Jacob Abrahamson ran into early trouble, giving up three hits, a walk and a wild pitch in the first inning as Maumelle raced to a 3-0 lead.

Gwatney got one of those back in the second when Nick Rodriguez and Zach Traylor singled. Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch. But Gwatney failed to get Traylor home from third with one out when the Maumelle pitcher recorded a pair of strikeouts.

The Chevy Boys tied it in the third on a walk to Brandon Whitmore, Abrahamson’s single and McClure’s two-out, two-run double to the fence in left. McClure reached third on the throw home, but again Gwatney failed to punch him in from third with one out. The missed opportunities in the second and the third proved costly. Maumelle took the lead for good in the bottom of the third with a bloop double, a base hit and a throwing error. Gwatney left the tying run stranded at third in the fourth after Kenny Cummings singled and advanced two bases on an errant pickoff attempt.

Maumelle made it 5-3 on a walk and two Gwatney errors in the fourth. The Chevy Boys had a couple of chances the rest of the way. They put the first two on in the seventh when Cummings singled and Alex Tucker was hit with a pitch.

The game almost ended with a triple play when Orlando Roberts hit a liner behind the bag at second. The second baseman caught the ball, stepped on second, but threw wild to first. A strikeout ended the game.

Abrahamson allowed five hits and three earned runs over four innings while striking out six. Jesse Harbin pitched the final two innings, allowing a hit and a walk.
McClure and Cummings had two hits apiece.

The junior Legion team traveled to Morrilton last night and hosts the Conway Cougars on Monday.