Friday, June 06, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Centennial Red vanquishes two foes

Leader sportswriter

The Cabot Red junior American Legion team won three-straight home games this week. On Tuesday, the Centennial Bank team got a mercy-rule win over Jacksonville by hammering the Gwatney Chevrolet juniors 13-3 in five innings, and on Thursday, Cabot beat the Sylvan Hills juniors in a doubleheader. Cabot narrowly won the first game 8-7, but won the second 10-4.

Cabot jumped on Jacksonville (3-3) early in Tuesday’s game at Brian Wade Conrade Memorial Field. The Red Centennial Bank team scored four runs in the first inning of that game, and pushed its lead to 9-3 by the end of the fourth inning.

Michael Shepherd, who pitched all five innings for Cabot, kept Jacksonville off the board in the top of the fifth, and the Red Centennial Bank team put the game away inthe bottom part of the inning.

A stand-up double by Jacob Davis started things off for the Red team. Eugene Germer entered the game as Davis’ courtesy runner, and he advanced to second base on a ground ball by Nicholas Belden.

Michael Harvard grounded out the following at-bat for the second out of the inning, but the contact put Germer at third base. Blake McCutchen walked the next at-bat, and with runners at the corners, McCutchen stole second base.

The Jacksonville catcher tried to catch McCutchen stealing, but the throw wasn’t in time, and Germer scored from third base on the throw to second, making it 10-3 in Cabot’s favor.

Brandon Jarnagin walked the following at-bat, and leadoff hitter Denver Mullins also walked after Jarnagin, which loaded the bases.

That brought Easton Seidl to the plate, and Seidl ended the game with a bases clearing, stand-up double to deep left-center field, which made it 13-3 Cabot and ended the game because of the 10-run lead after five innings sportsmanship rule.

“That was only our second game,” said Cabot Red coach Justin Moore of Tuesday’s game. “Our first game was Sunday. We didn’t swing it very well in that game, but we were using wooden bats. It was a wood-bat tournament, and (Tuesday) I felt like we could come out swinging it well.

“We wanted to get that game (Sunday) out of our system, and start putting the bat on the ball. We did that well early. Our pitcher (Shepherd) came out. He was a little shaky early, but he got out of it. He battled.

“From the fourth inning on, our pitcher started dominating – throwing that little sinker down, down, down; and he kept them off balance and did a great job for us.”

Shepherd earned the win by giving up just two hits and two walks in the five innings of work. He also recorded three strikeouts.

Davis led Cabot at the plate against Jacksonville. He was 2 for 2 with three RBIs. Mullins, Jarnagin, Seidl and Bobby Joe Duncan had one hit apiece for Cabot. Seidl also had three RBIs.

Brandon Hickingbotham and Tyler Montgomery had Jacksonville’s two hits Tuesday.

Thursday’s game-one win over Sylvan Hills didn’t come easy. Cabot trailed 7-6 going into the sixth inning, but Germer, who got the win on the mound in that game, kept the Bruins off the board for the second-straight inning, and the Red team set the final score its next at-bat.

Germer reached base on an E4 to lead off the bottom of the sixth, and Shepherd followed Germer’s at-bat with a single to left field. Cabot’s leadoff and two-hole hitter flew out during their at-bats, which brought Mullins to the plate with two outs.

Mullins gave Cabot the lead for good with a stand-up triple to deep center field, which allowed Germer and Shepherd to score with ease and make it 8-7 Centennial Bank. Germer kept Sylvan Hills off the board once again in the top of the seventh to give Cabot the hard-fought win.

Germer was the third Cabot pitcher to take the mound in that game. He entered the game with two outs in the top of the fourth and his team trailing 7-6. He walked one batter in his three and one-third innings of work, but gave up no runs and no hits and recorded four strikeouts.

“He was the player of the day today,” Moore said of Germer. “He came in and shut the door in the first game, and got on base in that sixth inning when we scored and took the lead. He came in there and shut them down.”

Cabot didn’t have near as much trouble with the Bruins in game two. The Red Centennial Bank squad scored the first three runs of the game. Sylvan Hills cut its deficit to 3-2 with two runs scored in the top of the third, but Cabot answered with seven runs scored in the bottom part of the inning to lead 10-2 and all but put the game out of the Bruins’ reach.

Sylvan Hills added two more runs in the top of the fourth, but after its at-bat, the game was called because the one hour, 30 minute time limit had expired.

Cabot combined to outhit Sylvan Hills 21-8 in the two games played. Davis led the way offensively. He was 4 for 5 on the day. Mullins and Seidl each finished the day 3 for 5. All of Seidl’s hits went for extra bases. He hit a two-run home run to left center in the first game, and had a double in each game – finishing the two games with four RBIs total.

Joey Bond was the only Bruin with multiple hits Thursday. He was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.

The Cabot Red team (3-2-1) plays at home again today against Hot Springs Lakeside at 3 p.m. The Sylvan Hills juniors (0-2) also play again today in a home doubleheader against Pine Bluff. The first part of their twin bill at the Sherwood Sports Complex starts at 4 p.m., and the second game will follow at 6 o’clock.