Tuesday, June 12, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Gwatney, Cabot 2 win one, lose one

Leader sports editor

The Gwatney junior American Legion team saw its win streak halted at seven games on Saturday, dropping a 9-3 decision to the Colts at North Little Rock’s Burns Park.

The Jacksonville team bounced back on Sunday, winning a home game 6-4 over Cabot Junior Team 2. On Saturday at Burns Park, North Little Rock pitcher Allen Gunner threw a gem of a game, going the distance and giving up just two base hits.

Gwatney got on the board first with a run in the opening inning. Leadoff hitter Troy Allen doubled to start the game. He moved to third on a fly ball by Austin Allen and scored on a passed ball.

The lead was short-lived as the Colts put two on the board in the bottom of the first. Gwatney regained the lead in the top of the third. Troy Allen reached on an error at shortstop and Derek St. Clair walked, setting up a two-RBI triple by Austin Allen that gave Gwatney a 3-2 lead.

Again, the advantage lasted less than an inning, as North Little took command of the game with a six-run rally in the bottom of the third.

Despite scoring nine runs, North Little Rock left a lot of runners on base. The Colts accumulated 13 base hits, walked four times, reached twice on hit batters and Jacksonville committed four errors.

On Sunday at Dupree Park, Jacksonville prevailed but had a tougher time than expected with Cabot’s Team 2. The Centennial Bank squad, 2-9, wouldn’t go away and held a 4-3 lead going into Jacksonville’s last at bat. But the Chevy Boys rallied in that last half inning for the win.

It started with a gift as St. Clair reached on an error at third base. Courtland McDonald and Ryan Mallison then got back-to-back singles and Austin Allen drew an RBI walk to tie the game. Greg Jones later singled to drive in two runs and seal the win for Jacksonville.

Cabot scored first in the top of the first inning. Clay Spafford started the game with a single but was caught stealing by Gwatney catcher Greg Jones. Dillon Buchanan walked with one-out and Chris Lyons reached on an error at third base. Jessie George then reached on an error in left field that scored Buchanan and George and gave Cabot a 2-0 lead.

Gwatney came right back with three runs in the bottom of the same inning.

Josh Cook started the rally with a walk. Austin Justice reached on an error in right field. Justin Abbott then single to drive in one run and Dante Harris singled to drive in two more.

Cabot added one more run in the third second when Nathan Davis tripled and Spafford singled to drive him home.

Another run by Cabot in the top of the fourth gave them the lead until Jacksonville’s last-inning rally. Drake Buroughs led off that inning with a single and Buchanan reached on an error at shortstop. Lyons moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt down the third baseline and Buroughs scored on a sacrifice grounder by George.

James Tucker got the win on the mound for Jacksonville after pitching the final inning to close out the game.

The weekend of games brought Jacksonville to 9-3 on the season.

Cabot Team 2 also picked up a win on Saturday, beating Quitman 13-11. The Centennial Bank squad picked up 15 base hits in the victory, most coming in a huge third inning that erased an early 8-0 deficit.

Cabot scored 10 runs in the third and three more in the fourth for the win.

Buroughs went 3 for 3 at the plate. Davis went 2 for 3 and drove in three runs. George also had three RBIs on a bases-clearing double in the third inning. George also got the win on the mound in three innings of relief pitching.