Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SPORTS >> Centennial junior team bows out of state

Leader sports editor

The Cabot junior Centennial Bank squad went two and out at the state tournament over the weekend in Sheridan, failing to score a single run in two games. Game one was an extreme pitchers’ duel, with Texarkana winning 1-0 in nine innings. In game two, Cabot had the misfortune of facing Bryant’s ace, even though it was a second-round game, and fell 5-0.

Bryant was forced to forfeit its first-round game against Jonesboro in the second inning when a batter used an illegal bat. Because Bryant had only nine players at the game, the player’s disqualification meant the team did not have enough players to fill a lineup. That meant an automatic forfeit loss for the Black Sox, but it also meant that they could throw their ace the next day. Cabot faced the No.1 starter in its opponents rotations in both games.

The scoreless outings proved too much to overcome for the youngest team to qualify for state. Even on the most youthful team in the tournament, it was the most youthful player on the team who got the most production offensively.

Josh Dollarhide got both of Cabot’s base hits in the loss to Texarkana.

Adam Hicks turned in a phenomenal performance on the mound. He threw eight innings, giving up eight hits while striking out four and walking one with one intentional walk.

Texarkana scored in the ninth inning off of Glover Helpenstill, but it was a runner that Hicks left in scoring position, giving the starter the loss despite the outstanding performance.

Texarkana got nine total base hits, eight off the starter.

Cabot swung the bats a bit better against Bryant in searing heat that soared above 100 degrees on Sunday, but couldn’t get the timely hit when it had scoring opportunities.

Centennial got seven base hits and three batters walked, but left every runner stranded in the game, including leaving the bases loaded twice.

Cabot got another good performance on the mound, this time from Lee Sullivan.

Sullivan also gave up eight base hits, but five of them went for extra bases and four were with runners on base.

The state tournament appearance leaves the junior Centennial squad with a 16-12 season record.

The AA team saw similar results in its zone tournament at Heber Springs. That team fell 9-7 in the tournament opener against the tournament host Heber Springs, then dropped a 15-6 decision to Pine Bluff in the next game to finish the year with a record of 7-13.