Saturday, June 21, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot blanks Jacksonville

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Centennial Bank Senior American Legion team got its second win of the season over Jacksonville and completed a Cabot sweep of Gwatney Chevrolet Tuesday at Dupree Park. After a junior win for the Cabot Red team, Ryan Logan and the senior team shut down the Jacksonville bats en route to a 4-0 victory.

Jacksonville’s starting pitcher, Derek St. Clair, also had a good game, giving up just one infield single and zero earned runs in his six innings of work, but that single was followed by a two-out error at second base and resulted in the only run Cabot needed for the victory.

It came in the third inning when Grayson Cole beat out a slow grounder to shortstop to lead things off. Hayden Vinson then walked before St. Clair got Lee Sullivan to fly out to second base and struck out leadoff hitter Conner Vocque. With two outs, Adam Hicks hit a routine grounder to second base, where Ryan Mallison bobbled the ball after fielding, then tried to rush a throw to shortstop Blake Perry for the out at second, but threw it into left field, allowing Cole to score.

That was the only run of the game until the top of the seventh as St. Clair and Logan dominated the opposition the rest of the way. Cabot had just one more base runner from innings four through six. It was also on an error, this time at third base.

Jacksonville got just three people on base the entire game. Logan walked St. Clair with one out in the second inning. Perry came within a few inches of tying the game with two outs in the fourth when he rifled one off the top of the wall in left field. It resulted in a standup double, but he advanced no further. Jacksonville leadoff hitter Courtland McDonald reached base with one out in the sixth when he beat out a grounder to short. But Logan got a strikeout and groundout to end the threat.

Perry took the mound for Jacksonville in the top of the seventh and struggled mightily to find the strike zone. He walked Cole to start the inning and Vinson sacrificed him to second base. Sullivan then walked and both players advanced a base on a wild pitch.

Another wild pitch scored Cole and left Sullivan at third. Vocque popped up behind the plate for the second out, but Perry issued back-to-back walks to Hicks and Logan before being replaced by James Tucker.

Tucker walked Grant Bell to score Sullivan. Tristan Bulice then hit an RBI single to center field that scored Hicks. Logan also tried to score on the play, but was thrown out at home by McDonald to end the inning.

Jacksonville mounted no threat in the bottom of the seventh. Logan put the four-five-six hitters down in order to preserve the victory.

Logan’s shutout included just two hits, three strikeouts and only one walk. St. Clair gave up one hit while striking out six and walking four.

On Wednesday, Gwatney improved to 2-3 with a 3-1 win over Hot Springs Lakeside at the Sheridan Wood Bat Classic. Tucker went the distance to get the win, giving up just three hits while striking out six and walking three.

Cabot improved to 9-5 with the win over Jacksonville and both teams play today at Sheridan.