Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Benton blanks Cabot Panthers

Leader sportswriter

The Cabot baseball team couldn’t get anything going in its home game against Benton on Monday at Brian Wade Conrade Memorial Field, as the visiting Panthers beat the host Panthers 10-0 in six innings.

Cabot (0-2) managed just one hit in the game, while Benton (3-1) racked up 13 base hits in the six innings played. Each team went three up, three down in the first inning, but Benton got on the board for the first time in the top of the second with a solo home run by clean-up hitter Brinson Williams.

The host Panthers’ clean-up hitter, senior first baseman Tristan Bulice, led off the bottom of the second with a hard-hit, stand-up double to deep right center, but Cabot couldn’t capitalize on the hit, as three-straight outs followed.

Benton added another run in the top of the third to take a 2-0 lead, and after each team went scoreless in the fourth, the visiting Panthers put five runs on their side of the board in the fifth to up their lead to 7-0. All five runs came with two outs.

Leadoff hitter Drew Harris walked to start Benton’s two-out rally in the fifth inning. He stole second base with two-hole hitter Chase Nix at the plate, and Nix drove in Harris with a single to right field, which gave Benton a 3-0 lead.

With Colton Nix at the plate, Chase Nix stole second before Colton Nix hit a ground ball to third base. Colton Nix’s grounder should’ve ended the inning, but the throw to first was too high for Bulice, and that allowed Chase Nix to score and Colton Nix to end up at second base.

The next at-bat, Williams hit his second home run of the game, this one a two-run bomb that gave the visiting Panthers a 6-0 cushion. Consecutive singles by Drew Dyer and Colby Johnson followed Williams’ home run, and Jared Baker drove in Benton’s seventh run with a single up the middle of the diamond.

The rally finally came to an end the next at-bat, when Jack Jumper hit into a force out at third base. After another scoreless at-bat for Cabot, Benton pushed its lead to 10 in the top of the sixth.

Nine-hitter Cameron Spivey led off the inning with a single to right field and Harris followed with another single to right field. Chase Nix then came to the plate and drove in Spivey with a stand-up double to deep right field.

With runners at second and third with no outs, Colton Nix set the final score with a two-RBI single up the middle. Cabot failed to put a run on the board in the bottom part of the inning, and as a result, the game ended because of the mercy rule, which is invoked when a team’s lead reaches at least 10 runs after five innings of play.

Four different Benton batters had multiple hits Monday. Those batters were Harris, Chase Nix, Williams and Johnson. Harris earned the win on the hill. He threw all six innings and finished the game with two strikeouts and one walk, while giving up just one hit.

Cabot’s next scheduled game will be a 7A/6A-East doubleheader at Searcy on Friday. The first game Friday will begin at 5 p.m.