Tuesday, June 11, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Colts’ consistency leads to ninth win

Leader sports editor

There was no huge inning, but the North Little Rock Colts kept the pressure on Cabot by putting the ball in play, throwing strikes and playing good defense. It resulted in a 10-0 victory in five innings at Cabot High School on Monday.

“That’s pretty much what it’s been like all season so far,” North Little Rock coach Robert Hopkins said. “They’ve been very consistent at the plate, very good in the field and we’ve had solid pitching. These kids know the game and they don’t make many mistakes. When you have a group of guys that really know how to play this game like this group does, it makes my job a lot easier.”

The Colts did make one mistake on the base paths in the first inning, but a mistake by Cabot erased it. Dylan Huckaby hit a one-out single, but was picked off by Cabot southpaw pitcher Ryan Logan, resulting in a rundown. Huckaby was tagged out, but only after running into a fielder. Obstruction was called and Huckaby was granted second base. He stole third with two outs, then scored when the throw from home to third got past Casey Vaughan and rolled into the outfield.

Cabot’s best offensive inning was the first one. North Little Rock pitcher Connor Eller struck out the first batter he faced, but gave up back-to-back singles to Bryson Morris and Vaughan. He then recorded another strikeout and got Logan to ground out back to the mound to get out of the inning.

The Centennial Bank squad managed just two more hits over the next four innings off Eller, who finished with six strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter in five innings of work.

North Little Rock added another run in the second after Jack Partlow drew a leadoff walk.

Two batters later with two outs, nine-hole hitter Evan Johnson drilled a line drive, RBI triple to right field.

Huckaby led off the third inning with a triple to right and Alex Gosser drove him in with a groundout to first base. Dylan Boone reached on an error at shortstop and scored when L.J. Wallace sent a shot over the wall in left-centerfield.

Justin Weigle hit an infield single to third base with one out in the fourth. After stealing second, Weigle scored on an RBI single by Huckaby that made it 8-0.

Johnson started the rally in the fifth inning as well with a two-out single to left field. Weigle then tripled to left to score Johnson, and scored himself when Huckaby tripled for the second time in the game.

“The guy that’s been the hottest for us right now is our two-hole hitter Huckaby,” Hopkins said. “You can see what he did tonight.”

Huckaby went 4 for 4 with two triples, two runs scored and a run batted in. Weigle and Johnson each had two hits including a triple for the Colts.

The 9-1-2-lineup combination combined to go 8 for 11 with four triples, four runs scored, three RBIs and two stolen bases. The Colts (9-0) finished with 10 base hits.

Cabot and North Little Rock begin play in the Sheridan Wood Bat Classic today.