Thursday, July 03, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Colts capture two against Jr. White

Leader sportswriter

The Cabot White Junior American Legion team dropped two close five-inning games to North Little Rock Tuesday at Burns Park. Centennial Bank lost the first game 10-9 on a walk-off triple by Colts’ leadoff hitter Danny Mitchell, and Cabot lost the second game by the final score of 6-4.

In game one, both teams had little trouble putting the bat on the ball early. Cabot scored four runs in the top of the first inning, but the host Colts responded with six runs to lead 6-4 after one.

Centennial Bank added two more runs to its side of the board in the top of the second to tie the game at 6-6, but North Little Rock answered with another run in the bottom part of the inning to regain the lead at 7-6.

The third inning was scoreless, but Cabot retook the lead with a three-run fourth inning. Catcher Jess Reed walked to lead off the inning. He stole second base before leadoff hitter Ethan Smith reached on an error at first base.

Smith’s contact advanced Reed to third base, and with runners at the corners, Smith stole second to put both runners in scoring position. That brought shortstop Tyler Fowler to the plate, and he drove in both runners with a no out, two-RBI single to right field.

Fowler’s hit gave Cabot White an 8-7 lead. Fowler stole second base before advancing to third on a 1-3 groundout by three-hole hitter Brandon Jones. Cleanup hitter Logan Edmondson followed Jones’ at-bat with a 5-3 groundout for the second out of the inning, but Fowler scored on the contact to put Centennial Bank up 9-7.

North Little Rock failed to score in the bottom of the fourth, but Cabot couldn’t muster any insurance runs in the top of the fifth. Chance Harger came in to pinch hit for Blaine Miller to lead off the bottom of the fifth, and he came through with a triple to deep left center. Harger scored the next at-bat, a single to the gap in left field by Tyler Tucker.

That tied the game at 8-8, and Derek Howell was hit by a pitch the following at-bat. With runners at first and second, leadoff hitter Mitchell ended the game with a stand-up triple to right field that scored both Tucker and Howell.

The game was called at that point because the one hour, 45-minute time limit had expired. In game two, Cabot fell early into a hole that proved to be too deep to climb out of.

Cabot scored one run in the top of the first, but NLR answered with four runs scored in the bottom part of the inning to lead 4-1 after one. The second inning was scoreless, but Cabot cut its deficit to one with two runs in the top of the third.

Fowler reached on a fielder’s choice before Christian Gartman walked two batters later. Fowler and Gartman advanced to second and third base on a passed ball at home plate, and both runners scored on a two-out single by Collin Thames, making it a 4-3 game.

North Little Rock, however, added a run to its side of the board in each of the third and fourth innings to push its lead to 6-3, and Cabot added its final run its last at-bat to set the final score of game two.

Smith drew a walk to lead off the inning. He got to second base on a passed ball at the plate, and scored on a single to the right-field gap by Fowler the following at-bat, which made it 6-4.

Cabot loaded the bases with two outs in the inning, but NLR pitcher Jordan Reed got a strikeout to end the game and give the Colts the evening sweep.

Both teams had eight hits in game one and four hits in game two. In game two, Cabot committed five errors in the field and gave up two walks. North Little Rock walked six Cabot batters in the second game.

Smith and Shawn Williams led Cabot at the plate in game one. They each finished 2 for 2 in that game. Fowler was the only player for either team to get multiple hits in game two. He was 2 for 2 in that game.

Cabot White (8-20) will play again today at 4 p.m. in the Zone 5 seven-team tournament at Heber Springs against Sylvan Hills.