Monday, June 17, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> AA Colts win one, lose one at Sheridan

Leader sports editor

If any team showed more disparity between game one and two of the Wood Bat Classic than North Little Rock’s AA team, it was North Little Rock’s opponent on Thursday, the second night of the event.

The Colts beat the Little Rock Diamondbacks 9-6 with a great performance at the plate by the entire lineup on Wednesday. They lost 6-0 to Pine Bluff-Relyance Bank on Thursday, managing just three base hits the entire game.

Relyance’s two games were even more different. The White Hall-based team gave up 21 runs on 22 base hits in a first-round loss to Cabot on Wednesday, before coming up with the complete-game shutout on Thursday.

“They threw two really good pitchers at us,” North Little Rock coach Brock Moore said. “We made them look really good at times too, but there’s no doubt those are two good pitchers. The kid that started for them has signed with Arkansas State, and he showed why tonight.”

Tyler Zuber started on the mound for Pine Bluff, and threw just two innings. He faced six batters and struck out three of them. Daniel Gray took the mound in the third inning and finished the game. He gave up three hits while striking out eight and walking one in five innings.

“We really didn’t have our heads in the game from about the second inning,” Moore said. “We let some things get to us and just weren’t very focused there for a while. But that’s why we play these games. That team is quite a bit older than us up and down the lineup and we learn from these types of games.”

The AA Colts (5-3) were tied with the Diamondbacks on Wednesday after two innings. Little Rock scored two in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 lead, but North Little Rock added a run in the second to knot the score. The Colts then exploded for seven runs in the top of the fourth to take control of the game.

A single by J.J. Askins and a triple by Lawson Dulin got North Little Rock on the scoreboard in the first inning. Danny Mitchell walked, stole a base, advanced on an error and scored on a wild pitch in the second.

Jordan Reed started the rally in the fourth by reaching on an E1. Mitchell walked and four-consecutive singles followed by Askins, Jovani Gonzalez, Dulin and River Warnock. Each of the first six batters scored in the inning. Jake Sandefur reached on a fielder’s choice with one out and scored on a double by Mitchell that made it 9-2.

The senior Colts also got a win on Wednesday in one of their toughest games to date. The 19-under North Little Rock squad needed two runs in the sixth inning to beat Pine Bluff Simmons 2-1 and keep its perfect record intact at 10-0. Both runs came with two outs. Jack Partlow got on base with a fielder’s choice for the second out. Justin Weigle then singled to put runners on the corners, and Dylan Huckaby doubled to centerfield to drive in both base runners.

Gunner Allen went the distance for the Colts to get the win. He gave up just three hits and no earned runs while striking out four and walking none.

The senior and AA teams will be back in action today in the People’s Bank Wood Bat Classic.