Tuesday, June 17, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot juniors sweep Heber

Leader sportswriter

The Cabot Red Junior American Legion team improved its Zone Conference record to 4-0 Saturday with a doubleheader sweep over Heber Springs at Brian Wade Conrade Memorial Field in Cabot. The Centennial Bank team beat the visitors 5-0 in game one, and won the second game by the final score of 4-2.

Cabot got a stellar performance on the mound in game one from Gavin Tillery, who pitched all seven innings of the first game, finishing his complete-game performance with nine strikeouts.

Tillery gave up just two hits and no walks in the winning effort.

Even though Cabot got the win in game one, it took the Red team a while to get comfortable against Heber Springs’ starting pitcher Andrew Bradshaw, who threw three-straight scoreless innings to start the game. Bradshaw struck out eight Cabot batters before being pulled after the fifth inning.

“Pitching definitely ruled the first game,” said Centennial Bank coach Justin Moore. “Both pitchers were cruising. It seemed like it was just flying by – after 30 minutes, I looked up and there’s already five innings that have gone by.

“It was just boom, boom, boom. Luckily, our pitcher was throwing strikes and getting ahead of batters and making quick work of them, which gave us enough time to put some runners across the plate and win a ball game.”

The score was 0-0 after the first three innings, but Cabot finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Cleanup hitter Easton Seidl got on base thanks to a dropped fly ball in right field at the start of the inning.

Tillery then came to the plate and singled to the gap in left field to put two runners on for Centennial Bank. Jonathan Harpole came in to run for Tillery, and three batters later, Michael Harvard drove in both runners with a one-out single to center field.

Cabot added another run its next at-bat. Catcher Chris Odom started the bottom of the fifth with a stand-up triple to left field. Seidl was hit by a pitch the next at-bat, and Odom scored on a 4-6 fielder’s choice hit by Tillery, which gave Cabot a 3-0 cushion.

The host team set the final score in the bottom of the sixth. Leadoff hitter Bobby Duncan reached on an error at shortstop to start the inning. He stole second base before two-hole hitter Braden Jarnagin singled to the left-field gap, which put runners at the corners for the host team.

Jarnagin then successfully stole second base, and on the throw to second, Duncan took off for home plate and scored with ease to make it a 4-0 game. Odom then advanced Jarnagin to third with a single to left field, and Seidl set the final score of game one with an RBI single to the left-field gap, driving in Jarnagin.

The second game was cut to three innings at the request of the visitors, and Heber Springs (2-2) scored two quick runs in the top of the first inning. Cabot, though, answered with four runs in the bottom part of the inning to set the final score.

Right-hander Seth Cummings got the win in game two. He pitched all three innings, and finished the game with three strikeouts.

Odom and Jarnagin led Centennial Bank offensively in game one Saturday. They each finished with two hits in that game. Harpole led the host team at the plate in game two. He was the only player for either team to get multiple hits in the second game. He finished the nightcap 2 for 2 with an RBI and run scored.

Cabot Red (9-5, 4-0) will play at 6 p.m. today at home against Morrilton.