Wednesday, June 08, 2011

SPORTS>>Base paths fatal to Cabot victory

Leader sports editor

A series of strange and similar errors by Cabot’s senior American Legion team aided Continental Express of Little Rock to an 8-7 win Monday night in Cabot. The hosting Centennial Bank squad committed six errors, all of which were throwing errors on the base paths, to help set up the visiting team’s win.

Little Rock picked up just four hits to Cabot’s eight, but several walks and hit batters, combined with the throwing miscues, led to the final result.

Cabot coach Jay Darr said unfamiliarity with positions some players haven’t played in a long time led to some of the mistakes.

“We have guys coming back from college, or just haven’t played in a while, and they’re trying to play positions they haven’t played in, in some cases, over a year,” Darr said. “Once we get used to things and used to each other, things will start to turn around.”

Express jumped out to a big lead in the first two innings, scoring three in each frame and threatening to blow things open. Cabot chipped away, and twice cut the margin to one, but never could tie or take the lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, Cabot’s bats came alive and Centennial scored four runs. It started with a leadoff double down the right-field line by eight-hole hitter Jordan Castillow.

Darr exhorted his team after the hit, and Cabot began its first rally.

“We have some guys on this team who are relatively strong for this level,” Darr said. “They approach the batter’s box wanting to pull the ball and hit it out of the park. Right before Castillo went up there and did that, we talked about changing our approach at the plate and getting base hits. They went out there and did that.”

Justin Goff came up two outs later to extend the Cabot rally. With Castillo still lingering on base, Goff singled to center to drive him home.

Matt Evans then singled to right, and the base runners advanced to second and third when Continental’s right fielder misplayed the ball and allowed it to get past him.

Brandon Surdam stepped to the plate and hit a two-run triple over speedy centerfielder Ivan Tate’s head, and the Cabot squad was back in the game. Surdam then scored on an RBI single by Tyler Erickson to cap the rally.

Continental added a run in the fifth to make it 7-4, but the home team scored two in the bottom of the next frame to cut the margin to one run.

Bryson Morris got a leadoff walk and scored two batters later when Matt Evans hit a triple deep into the alley in left-centerfield. Evans scored a few pitches later on a wild pitch.

In the top of the final inning, Tate led off with a base hit for Continental Express.

While attempting to steal second, the throw sailed into centerfield and the Little Rock speedster trotted to third. A few pitches later, a wild pitch allowed Tate to score and give his team an 8-6 lead.

Cabot had a rally going in the bottom of the inning with runners on the corners and one out, but a base-running blunder led to an out on the base paths.

A run scored on the play to make it 8-7, but Cabot couldn’t get another base runner to continue the rally.

The game was not a zone game and won’t count towards postseason seedings, but it did drop Cabot to 2-2 on the season.

Earlier in the evening, the Centennial junior team beat Continental Express’ junior team 4-3. Tristan Bulice led the charge for Cabot, going 2 for 3 at the plate, including a triple and two RBIs.

He also scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the fourth. With the game knotted at 3 apiece, Bulice hit the triple to the power alley in left-center. He scored on the next at bat when Little Rock’s shortstop failed to handle a ground ball. The Cabot junior and senior teams traveled to Jacksonville last night after The Leader’s deadline. They will also play tonight at home against the Conway Cougars