Friday, June 13, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Gwatney earns first victory in final at-bat

Leader sports editor

The Gwatney Chevrolet Senior American Legion team picked up its first win of the season Thursday at Dupree Park, beating Searcy 3-2 with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The inning started with leadoff hitter Courtland McDonald, who had not had a good game going 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, hitting a high hopper down the third baseline and beating the throw to first. That throw was in the dirt and got by the Searcy first baseman, allowing McDonald to take second base. Ryan Mallison, who was 3 for 3 at the time, grounded out to shortstop but advanced McDonald to third base.

Blake Perry then grounded to shortstop, where a fielding error allowed McDonald to score the winning run.

Searcy took the lead in the topof the second inning with a single run off pitcher James Tucker. Jacksonville tied it in the third. D.J. Scott singled with one out and took second base on a wild pitch. With two outs, Mallison singled to right field to drive him home.

Jacksonville took the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Laderrious Perry hit an infield single to lead things off. He moved to second base on a sacrifice grounder by Deaundray Harris. With two outs and facing a 0-2 pitch, Scott got his second base hit of the game, this one for the RBI and go-ahead run.

Searcy got the run back and tied it in the top of the seventh off a walk and a double down the third baseline to set up Jacksonville’s game-winning inning.

Tucker went the distance on the mound, giving up five hits while striking out five and walking just two.

The Jacksonville junior team managed just three base hits in an 8-0 loss.