Tuesday, April 07, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Jackrabbits still perfect in blowout

Leader sportswriter

The Lonoke High School baseball team kept its perfect record intact Monday at Riverview, as the Jackrabbits dominated the 4A-2 Conference matchup en route to a convincing 14-3 win over the Raiders.

Lonoke (7-0, 3-0) scored six runs in the first inning and five in the second to take a commanding 11-1 lead, and Riverview (4-6, 1-1) was never able to recover. The strong start and high energy levelfrom the Jackrabbits was something Lonoke coach Darrick Lowery was pleased to see.

“We looked like we were ready to play today,” said Lowery. “We came out with a lot of energy, and you could tell just having that intensity early helped put a lot of pressure on them (Riverview) to make some plays, and we took advantage of their mistakes.

“We did a good job of being patient at the plate and taking walks, and taking advantage of any opportunity that we got.”

The Raiders committed seven errors total for the game, while Lonoke had just one. Also, Riverview struggled to find the strike zone, resulting in numerous walks and hit batters. Lonoke, though, like Lowery said, took advantage of those opportunities.

Casey Martin and Haven Hunter each walked to start the game, and Cody Martin singled the next at-bat to score Casey Martin and Hunter for a 2-0 Lonoke lead. Nick Graves singled the following at-bat, and Christian James followed with a single to center field, loading the bases.

Todd Pool was then hit by a pitch, which gave him an easy RBI as Cody Martin scored, and two batters later, Savonte Rountree was plunked, allowing Graves to score for a 4-0 Jackrabbit lead.

Elijah Seigrist was next up for Lonoke, and he reached on an error at third base. That allowed James to score, and two batters later with the top of the order back up, Casey Martin was hit by a pitch with the bases juiced, scoring Pool and giving Lonoke a 6-0 lead.

Riverview scored a run in the bottom part of the inning, and Lonoke picked up where it left off in the top of the second with its five runs scored, which pushed the Jackrabbits’ lead to 10 with the score 11-1.

The Raiders had their most productive inning in the third, scoring two runs, but Lonoke added a run in the fifth before scoring two more in the sixth, which set the final score.

At the start of the sixth inning, Seigrist advanced all the way to third base on an error in right field, and he scored the next at-bat on a single to left by Casey Martin.

Casey Martin advanced to third the next at-bat on another error in right field, this one off the bat of Hunter. Cody Martin then reached on an error at third base, allowing Casey Martin to score. That gave Lonoke its 14-3 lead.

Rountree earned the win on the hill. He threw the first five innings and gave up three hits, four walks and two earned runs, while recording three strikeouts.

Lonoke outhit Riverview 10-3, and four different Jackrabbits had multiple hits. Caleb Horton, James, Graves and Casey Martin each had two hits to lead Lonoke.