Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Rabs rally past Robinson

Leader sports editor

The Lonoke Jackrabbits scored four runs in the first inning, but had to rally for a run in the sixth to beat Joe T. Robinson 6-5 Monday in a nonconference baseball game at Lonoke Park.

With the scored tied at five runs apiece, one runner on base and two outs, Lonoke’s Casey Martin ripped a line-drive double to right field to score Ethan Holland, who had walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice fly by Elijah Seigrist. Holland then took the mound in the seventh inning and got the Senators in order to earn the win. Robinson speedster Dakotah Troutman reached on an error to lead off the top of the seventh. It was Lonoke’s seventh error of the game.

Troutman then stole second base. He went for more but was caught stealing third. Holland then got a groundout to second base and fanned got Kuan Kirby swinging in three pitches to end the game.

Robinson got on the board first with an unearned run thanks to two Lonoke errors. The Jackrabbits then posted their biggest inning of the day, posting four runs on three base hits.

Robinson pitcher Brennen Johnson walked Casey Martin to start the inning then plunked Haven Hunter to put two runners on with no outs. A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position, but Cody Martin struck out looking. Nick Graves then doubled to center field to score Casey Martin and advance Hunter to third.

Christian James then hit a deep fly ball for the second out, scoring Hunter from third while Graves held at second base. Todd Pool singled to score. Graves, and Pool scored two batters later on base hit by Caleb Horton to cap the inning.

Neither team scored in the second inning, but Robinson got two runs in the top of the third, both with two outs and both unearned. The Senators got just one base hit, but the Jackrabbits committed three errors to aid the visitors’ cause.

Lonoke was unable to score in the bottom half of the third, and Robinson tied the game with yet a fourth unearned run.

Lonoke got the lead back in the bottom of the fourth without a base hit. Seigrist drew a leadoff walk, and was replaced on the base paths by Lance Dugger. Casey Martin sacrificed Dugger to second with another deep fly ball, and Hunter hit a sacrifice grounder to second to move Dugger to third. The courtesy runner then scored on a passed ball before Cody Martin grounded out to second to end the inning.

Christian James took the mound in the fifth inning and struggled early. He walked the leadoff batter and balked to move him to second. He then walked the next batter and a wild pitch moved them into scoring position. But he worked out of the jam, only allowing one run to cross the plate.

He got a ground ball from Troutman that scored Markus Bracey and moved Hayden Bradberry to third. James then walked Brandon Hudson to put runners on the corners. James then got Kirby and Trenton Dunn swinging to shut down the potential rally.

Casey Martin went 2 for 2 with a run scored and a run batted in to lead Lonoke offensively.

Cody Martin started on the mound and pitched two innings. He gave up one hit while striking out three and walking one for the no decision. Horton threw two innings and James one before Holland threw the last two innings for the win.

The Jackrabbits hosted Conway Christian Tuesday in another nonconference game after Leader deadlines. They will open conference play at home Thursday against Southside-Batesville.