Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SPORTS >> Gwatney runs out of gas in loss

IN SHORT: Visiting North Little Rock overcomes 5-1 deficit to claim a victory at Dupree Park.

Leader sportswriter

Jacksonville got all it could in the first inning, but couldn’t make it last.
Gwatney Chevrolet’s senior American Legion team watched a four-run lead evaporate, as North Little Rock rallied for a 7-5 victory at Dupree Park Tuesday.

Gwatney starting pitcher Jesse Harbin took a 5-1 lead into the third then got into trouble as the Optimist Colts reeled off four straight hits to pull within 5-4.

Reliever Michael Lamb gave up a walk and an RBI single that tied the game.

North Little Rock pulled ahead in the top of the fourth on an infield error by Gwatney that led to a run, and Tyson Tackett hit a home run to right to complete the scoring.

Gwatney had its way with North Little Rock starter Will Harris in the bottom of the first inning. The entire lineup batted, and it scored all five of its runs.
D’Vone McClure started things off with a line-drive single to left and advanced when Harris hit A.J. Allen.

Williams Baptist signee Caleb Mitchell grounded out before cleanup hitter Patrick Castleberry scored McClure and Allen with a double to left to put Jacksonville up 2-1.
Jared Toney singled to score Castleberry, and Kenny Cummings gave Gwatney the 5-1 lead when he hit a home run over the right-field fence.

The Colts scored their first run when leadoff man Cain Cormier led off the game with a walk and scored on a single by cleanup hitter Cody Ward.

Harbin and the Jacksonville defense made up for an error to start the second inning with a 5-4-3 double play to retire the side. But Gwatney Chevrolet was not as fortunate in the top of the third.

Things looked promising for Jacksonville as Cormier grounded out to third and Zach Ketchum popped up to right for two quick outs.

But a single to left by No. 3 hitter Brooks Howard started the rally that proved to be the difference.

Howard scored when Ward doubled to left, and Alex Gosser doubled to right to drive in Ward and make it 5-3 Jacksonville. Tackett then singled to right to drive in Gosser and cut Gwatney’s lead to one and force a change at the mound.

North Little Rock tied it when Derek Houser singled to score Tackett.

Comier reached to start the Colts’ fourth when Mitchell misplayed his grounder at third for an error. Ketchum followed with a triple to deep center field to give North Little Rock its first lead.

Lamb recovered to strike out the next two batters and gave up only one more hit through the final two innings, but the hit he surrendered was a big one.
Tackett stepped into Lamb’s first pitch of the fifth and sent it over the right-field fence to make it 7-5.

Gwatney had a chance to at least tie in the bottom of the sixth when Gosser hit Cummings with a pitch and Cummings advanced when Tucker singled to left. Brown’s squeeze-bunt attempt backfired as Colts first baseman David Stracner quickly fielded it and made the play at third.

That still left two on for Jacksonville, but McClure grounded to short to start a double play.

Toney was 2 for 3 with a RBI for Gwatney and Tucker was also 2 for 3.
McClure was 2 for 4 with a run scored.

For North Little Rock, Ward was 2 for 3 with two RBI and a double, while Tackett was 2 for 4 with a home run, 2 RBI and two runs scored.