Friday, June 01, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Gwatney junior team beats Beebe and LR Blue

Leader sports editor

Jacksonville’s junior Amer-ican Legion team picked up a couple of wins heading into the Gwatney Chevrolet Junior Invitational this weekend at Dupree Park. After going 1-2 at the North Little Rock tournament last week, the junior squad went 2-0 at home this week with wins over Beebe and Little Rock Blue.

The Beebe Post 91 team’s 6-1 loss at Dupree Park on Tuesday was much more competitive than the 16-0 loss it suffered against Gwatney last week in the NLR tournament.

Blake Perry was on the mound for Jacksonville and turned in his second consecutive good performance. Perry gave up just four hits. He struggled briefly with control late in the game, walking two, hitting another and giving up a base hit to allow Beebe’s only run in the sixth inning.

The game was scoreless through two innings before Jacksonville picked up a run in the third. Perry reached on an error at shortstop, Alex Tucker walked and Aaron Tubbs singled to drive in the run.

The big inning was the next one, when Gwatney put four runs across the plate. Justin Abbott reached on an error at shortstop and Perry walked. Alex Tucker singled and James Tucker, hitting for Tubbs, got a base hit. Leadoff hitter Troy Allen was hit by a pitch and Derek St. Clair reached on an RBI bunt single that drove in the third run of the inning. Austin Allen flew out to centerfield, but the hit was deep enough for an RBI to make it 5-0.

The final run came in the fifth inning without a base hit. Dejon Scott, Abbott and Perry each walked to load the bases with no outs. Alex Tucker hit a hard ground ball to third base that turned into a 5-2-3 doubleplay, but Abbott scored on a passed ball to set the final margin.

Jacksonville got only five base hits, but drew six walks, two hit batters and reached on two errors to keep runners on the base paths.

James Tucker took the mound on Wednesday and pitched six innings of shutout ball in a 7-0 win over Little Rock Blue. Austin Allen provided offensive fireworks for Gwatney.

Tucker gave up five hits and walked one while striking out nine. He got into a little trouble in the second inning when Blue got a single and a double with one out that put runners at second and third. But Tucker fanned the next batter and got the third out on a grounder to second base.

Allen gave Jacksonville a lead in the bottom of the first inning with a three-run home run. Derek St. Clair walked and Greg Jones was hit by a pitch to set up Allen’s bomb, but the runs didn’t stop there. McDonald drew a walk and scored on a double by Eric Moore.

Jacksonville added three more in the second and Tucker did the rest on the mound. Troy Allen drew a walk and St. Clair reached on an E6. With one out, Allen hit a triple to drive in both base runners. He then scored on a sacrifice bunt by McDonald to set the final margin.

Gwatney (3-2) takes the field at 11 a.m. today against Benton #2 and at 7:30 p.m. tonight against Sheridan at Dupree Park.