Tuesday, June 19, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Pair of runs place Colts back on top

Leader sportswriter

Cabot’s senior American Legion team put itself in position to get a win against North Little Rock with solid pitching and tough defensive play, but a two-run rally in the sixth inning allowed the Colts to regain the lead and pick up a 3-2 win Monday at North Little Rock’s Burns Park.

In addition to its solid play in the field, Cabot had no trouble putting the bat on the ball throughout the game as not a single Cabot player struck out. The problem was Cabot often hit the ball right at someone wearing a North Little Rock jersey, which resulted in just four hits total for the team.

“They’re swinging the bat, and they know what to do,” said Cabot coach Craig Nyborg. “It’s just up to them to get things done. Like tonight, nearly all of our hits were hit pretty hard. They just weren’t falling in the gaps or in the holes. But as long as they keep swinging it, we’re going to be fine. We have a good team, and we’re going to be competitive wherever we go.”

Kyle Kaufman got the start on the mound for Cabot (5-8) and was tough to hit early as the high-powered lineup of North Little Rock (12-3) was held scoreless through the first two innings. The Colts did manage to score the game’s first run in the third inning after Mike Hodge hit a RBI-double to the wall in right field, driving in three-hole hitter Tyson Tackett to give the Colts a 1-0 lead.

Cabot wouldn’t trail for long. In the top of the fourth inning, Cabot scored two runs to take the lead and the momentum. After reaching base on a walk, Tristan Bulice scored Cabot’s first run when Dustin Morris hit a RBI-single that rocketed past shortstop to tie the score at one apiece.

Morris followed his timely hit by stealing both second and third base. Two batters later, Morris scored after Scott Burnett hit a sacrifice fly to center field, giving Cabot a 2-1 lead.

Kaufman struck out the first batter in the bottom of the sixth, but Jacob Stripling followed with a double into the gap in left field. As Stripling ran to second base, the throw from left field missed the cut-off man, and Stripling was able to run to third.

Nick Cleveland followed by hitting a stand-up, RBI-triple that rolled to the wall in left center field, allowing Stripling to score with ease to tie the game at two apiece. Catcher Gunner Allen then reached base on a walk, and with Jack Hopkins at the plate, Cleveland scored on a passed ball at home to make it 3-2.