Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Chevy Boys upset NLR Colts

Leader sports editor

Jacksonville’s senior American Legion team got its first win since its season opener on Saturday, beating North Little Rock 5-2 at Burns Park. They did it despite committing four errors because the bats finally came to life.

Jacob Abrahamson, who led the team in several hitting categories last season but has struggled in three games so far this season, may have seen a breakthrough. He went 3 for 5 for nearly half of Jacksonville’s eight base hits.

He started things off for the Chevy Boys with a leadoff triple in the top of the first inning. Winning pitcher Jesse Harbin walked with one out. Xavier Brown and Alex Tucker then hit back-to-back RBI singles to give Jacksonville a quick lead.

It didn’t last. The Colts tied it with two in the bottom of the first, but that’s all Harbin would yield the rest of the game.

North Little Rock’s first run was due to two errors on the same play as leadoff hitter Tanner Chapman benefited from the two miscues. A base hit and a walk followed and Tommy Freeland drove in the second run with a fly ball to centerfield.

Gwatney added one run in the second inning with the help of a little good fortune and some good old baseball run manufacturing. Jared Wilson struck out but reached base on a strike-three passed ball. Kenny Cummings bunted him over to second base. Troy Allen bunted him to third and Chris McClendon singled to drive in the run.

Another run in the top of the third came from good hitting. St. Clair singled to start things off. Harbin then singled to put runners on the corners. Brown sacrificed one run home and Tucker hit a sac fly to centerfield to score Harbin.

Neither team scored over the next three innings. Jacksonville added the final run in the top of the seventh. Allen drew a leadoff walk. The next two batters went down in order before McClendon drew a walk to put Allen in scoring position.

Abrahamson then drove Allen home with his third hit of the game.

The Chevy Boys improved their season record to 2-2. They’ve played sparsely compared to other teams in the state. Most teams have played about 10 games, but Gwatney’s game schedule picks up the pace tomorrow in the Sheridan Wood Bat Classic that starts today.

Jacksonville’s first game in pool play is at 2:30 p.m. Thursday against Stuttgart. Game two is at 5 p.m. Friday against Benton. Another pool game will follow on Saturday, and the four pool winners begin tournament play Sunday afternoon.