Wednesday, June 19, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Post 91 seniors end up second

Leader sports editor

The Cabot senior American Legion team put up a lot of runs in the People’s Bank Wood Bat Classic in Sheridan, but eventually ran into obstacles it couldn’t overcome in the championship game on Sunday.

Cabot ran into injuries and an undefeated North Little Rock team, and ran out of pitching in suffering a 4-0 loss to the Colts on Sunday evening.

Kyle Kaufman performed well on the mound in his three inning of work as the starter, but the Panthers couldn’t find the answer to Colt pitcher Connor Eller, who threw a five-hitter over seven innings to earn the shutout win.

The finals loss didn’t take away from a superb overall tournament for the Centennial Bank squad, which entered the event with just one win on the season, but went 4-1 over the weekend despite being shorthanded with injuries to leading hitter Riley Knudsen and starting catcher Tristan Bulice.

Cabot won its two pool games, and earned the No. 1 seed for bracket play that began on Saturday. The Panthers beat the Texarkana Tigers 6-1 to advance to the semifinals, where they came from behind in the last inning to knock off Pine Bluff-Simmons 6-5.

Each team scored a run in the first inning of the semifinal. Simmons took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second and made it 4-1 with two more in the third.

That score held until the bottom of the fifth inning when Cabot scored two runs. Conner Vocque drew a leadoff walk and Bryson Morris hit an infield single by beating out a throw on a slow grounder to third base. The throw was wide, as well as late, and rolled far enough for Vocque to score and leave Morris standing on third base. Casey Vaughan flew out to left field, but his shot was deep enough to score Morris and make it 4-3.

Pine Bluff added a run in the top of the seventh off relief pitcher Vaughan without a hit to take a 5-3 lead, but its own change of pitchers proved costly for the Simmons Bank team.

Morris and Vaughan started the inning with back-to-back singles. A wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position. Ryan Logan got his second RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to right field. Kaufman and Adam Hicks hit infield singles to shortstop to load the bases with one out. Starting pitcher Grayson Cole then nailed a two-RBI double to the wall in centerfield to complete Cabot’s comeback victory.

Vaughan got the win on the mound, throwing just one inning, giving up no hits, walking three and striking out two.

Cole threw six innings, giving up seven hits while walking three and fanning five.
Logan got the win the previous day against Texarkana, giving up six hits in seven innings of work. He walked two of the three batters he faced in the first inning, but the southpaw picked off both players at first base.

He walked just two more the rest of the way while striking out four.

The tournament results left the Centennial Bank squad with a 6-7 record. They are scheduled for a rematch with North Little Rock at 8 p.m. today at Burns Park.