Friday, June 22, 2012

SPORTS STORY >> Teams split battle of the banks

Leader sportswriter

Cabot’s junior team one American Legion squad beat Lonoke Banking Center 10-3 in the first part of a doubleheader Wednesday, but fell hard in the second game as Lonoke avenged the loss with a 14-2 win at Lonoke.

In the first game of the twin bill, Lonoke led 1-0 after an inning of play. Cabot tied it up in the top of the second inning when Lee Sullivan laid down a routine bunt that rolled to the pitcher’s mound. As Sullivan hustled to first, the throw was out of first baseman Zack Risner’s reach, and Gavin Tillery scored from second base after singling to start the inning.

Lonoke (6-3) was held scoreless at its next at bat, and Cabot (12-12) took control of the game in the third inning, scoring six runs to make the score 7-1. Lonoke tried to rally in the fourth inning with two runs that cut Cabot’s lead to four.

But in the fifth and final inning, Cabot added three more runs to set the final margin.

“That first game they played awesome,” said Cabot coach Chris Gross about the win. “We were swinging the bat well, and we played good defense. We threw strikes and with any legion team the biggest thing is throwing strikes, especially with this age group.”

Landon James earned the win on the mound for Cabot, striking out three in the complete game performance. James also got it done at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a RBI and run scored. Tillery and Riley Knudsen also had two hits to go with two RBI’s apiece. Adam Hicks and Jonathan Latture had a base hit as well.

For Lonoke, Darrius McCall was 2 for 2 for the game with a RBI. Josh Mathis, Jalin Holloway, Essick Shephard, Dustyn Perkins and Risner each had a base hit.

Cabot and Lonoke have been busy as of late as both teams played at least one game nearly every day this week. Cabot used its depth in the second part of the doubleheader as several players that sat the bench in the previous game came in to give some of its starters time to rest.

Lonoke wasted no time taking advantage of the switch. In the first inning, Lonoke was relentless at the plate, scoring 10 of its 14 runs on six hits and five walks. Once the first inning was finally over, Lonoke’s pitching was just as solid as its hitting.

Mathis started for Lonoke on the hill, and retired the first three batters he faced. Lonoke scored its next two runs in the second inning.

Jacob Gordon hit a stand-up double to left field to start the inning. Triston Sullivan, who was 3 for 3 with three RBI’s in the game, drove Gordon in with a line drive single to right-center field.

Sullivan stole second and scored two batters later when Holloway singled in the left field gap to give Lonoke a 12-run lead.

Cabot was held scoreless again in the bottom part of the inning, and Lonoke added its final two runs in the top of the third.

Sullivan picked up his second and third RBI’s with a single up the middle of the diamond which allowed Perkins and Tyler Young to score with ease, giving Lonoke a 14-0 lead. Cabot totaled just two hits in the game, but scored its only runs in the bottom of the third as a result of those hits.

Pinch-runner John Van Hoveln scored Cabot’s first run on a RBI single from Austin Null. Van Hoveln came in again to run the bases later in the inning, and successfully stole both second and third base.

Van Hoveln scored the final run of the day on a suicide squeeze bunt from two-hole hitter Trent Frizzell. Frizzell’s bunt was executed well enough that it resulted in a base hit.

Mathis was the winning pitcher in game two. Sullivan’s three singles led Lonoke’s offense. Deron Ricks had multiple hits as well, finishing 2 for 3 with two singles. Gage Johnson, Mathis, Shephard, Gordon, McCall, Holloway and Perkins also had base hits for Lonoke.