Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Lonoke’s AA team outlasts its juniors

Leader sports editor

Lonoke’s two American Legion teams met up with each other on Monday, with the AA Remington Bullets beating the junior division Banking Center team 12-7 in seven innings.

The AA squad kept the junior team in the game by committing six errors in the field, but pounded out 15 base hits to overcome an early 3-0 deficit. Errors have become a problem for the Bullets in recent games, but they aren’t yet a major concern for head coach Steve Moore.

“The last few games we’ve had more than we usually do, but we’ve been pretty shorthanded in some of those games,” Moore said. “Plus tonight I think the guys were pretty relaxed. It was the older guys against our younger ones and I think they were playing around a little bit. But six is a lot no matter what. That’s too many. We’re not going to win a lot of games committing that many errors, but I think once we’re back to full strength and getting everybody in their normal positions, we’ll get the errors back down to where they were a few games ago.”

The Banking Center team scored all three runs in the first inning with two outs. Deron Ricks started the rally by drawing a two-out walk. He then stole second base and moved to third on an error at shortstop off the bat of Josh Mathis. Ricks scored the first of three runs on an RBI single by Zack Risner. Mathis and Risner scored on a double to centerfield by Jacob Gordon.

Remington scored one in the bottom of the first, but Banking Center added one in the top of the second to push the lead back to three runs at 4-1.

Remington took its first lead with five runs in the bottom of the second, but the game stayed close until the bottom of the fifth.

Each team scored one run between the second and fifth innings. The older team went to bat in the bottom of the fifth with a 7-6 lead, and scored four runs to take command of the game.

The first three Bullet batters reached base safely, starting with a leadoff double by Madison James. Nick Watson singled and Christian James walked to load the bases.

Cody Martin then struck out, but Madison James scored on a passed ball during the at bat.

Pierce Johnson then hit a two-RBI double to right field to score Watson and Christian James to make it 10-6. Johnson then scored on an error at second base to put the Bullets up by five runs.

Banking Center added an unearned run on two Remington errors in the top of the sixth. The Bullets’ last run came on a leadoff home run to centerfield by Blake Gooden.

Lane Moore led the offensive attack for Remington, going 4 for 4 with two RBIs. Gooden went 2 for 4 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

Shane Pepper went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and Johnson went 2 for 2 with two RBIs. Christian James also got two base hits while Guy Halbert, Watson, Martin, and Mikey Shinn got one hit apiece.

Risner led the Banking Center junior team with two hits, two RBIs and one run scored in three at bats. Ricks went 1 for 2 with two walks and two runs scored. Essick Shepherd, Gordon and Chase Von Houten each got one base hit for Banking Center.

“They actually hit the ball pretty well against us,” Moore said of the Banking Center team. “Our pitchers struggled a little bit throwing strikes. When you do that you kind of have to just put over the middle. I don’t know if they got a whole lot of base hits, but they drew some walks and they put the ball in play a lot, and we didn’t do a good job of fielding. They gave us a good game.”