Monday, July 01, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Colts beat Gwatney again

Leader sports editor

The North Little Rock Colts kind of took two wins from the Jacksonville senior American Legion team on Wednesday, beating the Gwatney Chevy Boys 9-3 in the first round of the Jacksonville Classic at Dupree Park.

The game counts twice in a way. The two teams agreed to also count the game as one of the zone matchups that will determine seedings when postseason play begins.

North Little Rock’s Gunner Allen went the distance on the mound and got the win, pitching the entire game with a lead.

The Colts (21-1) scored three runs in the top of the first inning and never trailed. Leadoff hitter Justin Weigle got the first of his three base hits to start the game, but was thrown out at second on at 6-4 fielder’s choice by Dylan Huckaby. Dylan Boone was hit by Jacksonville pitcher James Tucker and Colt catcher Alex Gosser singled to drive in a run. L.J. Wallace then singled to score Boone and move Gosser to third. Gosser then scored on a passed ball to put the Colts up 3-1. Gwatney got one back in the bottom of the inning on two base hits off Allen. Leadoff hitter Derek St. Clair singled and third baseman Blake Perry doubled two batters later for the RBI.

Base hits by Weigle and Boone scored Weigle with two outs in the top of the second to make it 4-1. They made it 5-1 in the top of the third when an error at first base left Nick Cleveland on base to start the inning. Three batters later with two outs, Weigle got his third-straight base hit, this time an RBI-double to the gap in left field.

Jacksonville answered in the bottom of the third when Perry’s second base hit went for another RBI, this time scoring left fielder D.J. Scott, who reached on a leadoff walk.

No one scored again until the top of the sixth inning when Alex Broadwell went to the mound for Gwatney to relieve Tucker. Broadwell got off to a shaky start and the Colts all but put the game away with four runs. Evan Johnson walked on four pitches to start the inning and Mike Foster singled. Weigle was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Broadwell struck out Huckaby, but Boone and Johnson scored during the at bat on a wild pitch. Boone then hit a two-RBI single to left field, and scored two batters later on a passed ball.

Gwatney (3-9) got one run in the bottom of the sixth to set the final margin, but couldn’t mount a rally in the seventh. Allen hit Perry to start the inning and Courtland McDonald singled to right-centerfield to put two runners on with no outs. Allen then fanned the next two batters before Greg Jones singled to score Perry and set the final margin.

Perry, St. Clair and McDonald accounted for six of Jacksonville’s seven base hits, getting two each. Perry finished with a double and two RBIs. St. Clair also recorded a double.

Weigle went 3 for 4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI to lead the Colts at the plate. Boone and Will Hopkins went 2 for 3 while Huckaby, Gosser, Wallace, Cleveland and Johnson each got one hit apiece.

Jacksonville stayed on the field for the nightcap game against Conway. Conway was scheduled to play Pine Bluff in the final game of the evening, but Pine Bluff dropped out of the tournament. Jacksonville won that game 7-6. However, the loss won’t affect Conway in the pool-style tournament.