Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SPORTS >> Brown, defense carry Chevy Boys

IN SHORT: Gwatney gets error-free defense plus pitching in victory.

By Jason King
Leader sportswriter

Jacksonville Gwatney Chevrolet’s performance against North Little Rock didn’t need to be flashy.

The Chevy Boys played solid fundamental baseball on their way to a 5-1, junior American Legion victory over the Optimist Colts at Hickingbotham Field in Dupree Park on Tuesday.

Xavier Brown was the winning pitcher for Gwatney with five innings of work. Brown allowed six hits and one run before giving way to starting third baseman Zach Traylor in the top of the sixth.

Gwatney’s defense went error free and gave up only one run in the top of the second inning, while the offense placed some timely hits, especially in the bottom of the second.

The Colts took the lead in the top of the second when Brian Chastain singled and advanced on a walk to Paul Morris before Landon Gray drove him in with a single to left.

Jacksonville answered in the bottom of the inning. Brown led off with a bunt single, Alex Tucker walked and Traylor singled down the third-base line to load the bases.
Brown scored when Troy Allen’s liner to shortstop was mishandled for an error.

With two outs, Kenny Cummings bunted and the Colts committed another error that scored Tucker to make it 2-1.

Center fielder D’Vone McClure singled to right to bring in Traylor to give Gwatney a 3-1 lead.

Jacksonville’s Brandon Russell singled to lead off the fourth and scored when North Little Rock botched a double play on McClure’s infield hopper.

Brown retired the Colts in order in the third inning and gave up only one hit in the fourth before retiring the next three, but began to show some fatigue in the top of the fifth.

Gray led off with a single to left and took third on an infield single by Tyler Jaleel. But Brown struck out Blake Manning for the second out and Drew Denny grounded out to Traylor at third base to end the at-bat.

Brown walked to lead off the fifth but was forced out at second when Tucker hit into a fielder’s choice. Tucker tagged up and took second on a fly to right by Traylor and scored Gwatney’s final run when Allen doubled to left.

Traylor gave up three walks in the sixth and seventh innings combined, but allowed only one hit to Matthew Hinistedt, the first batter he faced in the top of the sixth.
The Colts tried to rally in the top of the seventh when Wesley Moore and Jaleel walked, but Traylor struck out Manning and got Denny to pop out to second, and then Hinistedt grounded to short for a game-ending fielder’s choice.

Brown also led Gwatney at the plate, going 2 for 2 with a double and a run. Tucker scored two runs and Allen finished with a double and two RBI.

For North Little Rock, Gray was 2 for 2 with an RBI and Hinistedt was 2 for 3.