Wednesday, July 16, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot seniors sweep Benton

Leader sports editor

The Cabot-Centennial Bank Senior American Legion team pulled off a doubleheader sweep of Benton on Saturday in Saline County. Cabot won by scores of 8-1 and 7-5 to improve to 13-9 on the season and head into the Zone 3 tournament with some momentum.

In game one, left-handed pitcher Ryan Logan scattered seven hits over seven innings, striking out six and walking no one in getting the win. Cabot got just two more hits than Benton. Sportshop starting pitcher Andrew Swaim gave up just three hits in three innings of work, but struggled with control. Swaim walked five Cabot batters while the home team’s defense committed three errors behind him. Most of that came in the second inning when Cabot scored three of its runs.

Grayson Cole started the second-inning rally by drawing a leadoff walk. After an out, Dylan Bowers reached on a fielder’s choice that also left Cole safe at second. Grant Bell then hit a single to load the bases and Conner Vocque singled to score a run. After another out, Logan and Adam Hicks drew RBI walks to make it 3-0.

That’s how it stayed over the next four innings before Centennial Bank blew it open in the seventh.

Tristan Bulice started the rally with one out when he took a pitch to the hip. Cole and Lee Sullivan hit back-to-back singles to load the bases. Two runs then scored when Hayden Vinson hit into an error in left field. Vinson became the second out when he was thrown out on a fielder’s choice by Bell. Sullivan also scored on the play, leaving just Bell at first. Vocque’s grounder to second base was mishandled, leaving both runners safe. Kason Kimbrell walked to load the bases. Logan then singled to left to score Bell and Vocque, but Kimbrell was thrown out at third from centerfield to end the inning.

Benton finally got on the board with a leadoff single, a sacrifice bunt and two more base hits, but could not manage a serious rally.

Game two took on a very different route to Cabot’s victory. The Centennial Bank squad fell into a 5-0 hole after three innings, but cleaned up its defense and took advantage of a Benton pitching change to come away with the victory.

Zachary Patterson started on the mound for Cabot and threw three and two-thirds innings. He gave up four of Benton’s five hits while walking five and striking out eight of the 11 outs he recorded, but the defense fell apart behind him, committing five errors that helped the host team, though Cabot was home team on the scoreboard for game two, to a 5-0 lead by the middle of the fourth.

Benton starting pitcher Wesley Ramsey held Cabot hitless in his three innings of work, but Centennial Bank pounced on reliever Tyler Hamilton in the fourth. Cabot scored three runs on one hit and three Benton errors to make it 5-3.

Cabot got another run back in the fifth when Vocque reached second base on an error in right field, advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a wild pitch.

Cabot took the lead and set the final margin in the bottom of the sixth, starting with a Bowers leadoff double. Bell walked and Sullivan bunted the runners into scoring position for the first out.

Vocque then singled to center field to drive in both base runners, and advanced to second when Ramsey misplayed the hop. Kimbrell then singled to right-center field to score Vocque and set the final margin.

Cabot begins play in the Zone 3 tournament at Hendrix College at 4:30 p.m. Friday against Bentonville.