Wednesday, April 30, 2014

SPORTS >> Panthers get shut out over Badgers

Leader sportswriter

The Cabot baseball team made the short trip to Beebe on Friday for a nonconference game with the class 5A Badgers and the Panthers left Gillam Field with a 7-0 shutout win.

Cabot scored the only run it would need in the top of the second inning, and added another run in the third inning and one more in the sixth before putting the game away with four runs in the seventh.

The Panthers scored their seven runs off of eight hits. The Badgers, on the other hand, couldn’t find any offense whatsoever as they could only manage one hit off of winning pitcher Kason Kimbrell. The senior southpaw struck out seven Beebe batters and walked none in his six innings of work on the hill.

“He was outstanding,” said Cabot coach Ronnie Goodwin of Kimbrell. “Usually, when he can get through that first inning he really settles in. He went to a lot of three-ball counts early, but once he got through that first inning he settled in.

“He just competed. He had an idea of what he wanted to do – pitching just off of what he was seeing by their swings, and he was able to throw his breaking balls behind the count when he didn’t have his fastball command early, and then the fastball command came back. He was kind of the story of the day right there.”

Kimbrell’s only hit given up came off the bat of Beebe three-hole hitter Justin Browning in the bottom of the first.

Browning singled to center field, but was picked off by Kimbrell the next at-bat for the third out of the inning.

Coleman McAtee gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead their next at-bat with a towering solo home run to left field. Cabot took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third, thanks in part to a costly error at shortstop.

Two-hole hitter Gavin Tillery reached on an E6 with two outs in that inning, and Riley Knudsen followed with a single to center field the next at-bat. That brought cleanup hitter Tristan Bulice to the plate, and he drove Tillery in with another single to center.

The score remained 2-0 till the top of the sixth. In that inning, Kimbrell got on base because of an error at third base. Dylan Bowers came in to run for Kimbrell, and Bowers stole second base, advanced to third on a ground ball by Zach Patterson, and scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Jonathan Latture.

Beebe starting pitcher John Finley was pulled at the end of the inning, and the Panthers took advantage of the pitching change by adding four more runs to their side of the board during their last at-bat, putting the game out of reach and setting the final score.

Cabot leadoff hitter Lee Sullivan started the inning with a stand-up double to right field, and Tillery followed with a stand-up double to right center.

Sullivan scored on the play, and Knudsen followed with a two-run home run to right field to give Cabot a 6-0 lead.

Kimbrell walked two batters later with two outs, and Patterson helped set the final score with a stand-up double to right field, driving in Bowers, who scored all the way from first base to give the visiting Panthers a 7-0 lead.

Sullivan and Knudsen led the Panthers with two hits each, while teammates Tillery, Bulice, McAtee and Patterson had one hit apiece.

Cabot and Beebe will resume conference play this week.

The Panthers, 4-6 in conference play, host Jonesboro in a 7A/6A-East doubleheader today at 4:30. The Badgers (11-10, 6-4) travel to Batesville tomorrow for a 5A-East doubleheader that starts at 4 p.m.