Friday, June 26, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Throw-out at plate sets up winner in seventh

Leader sports editor

Logans were strong on the mound and offense was hard to produce for both teams, but the Cabot-Centennial Bank senior American Legion team got a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Malvern 3-2 in Thursday’s opening game of the Gwatney Chevrolet Summer Classic tournament at Dupree Park in Jacksonville.

Cabot’s Logan Gilbertson and Malvern’s Logan Wright each carried no-hitters into the fourth inning, and Gilbertson extended his no-hit bid into the fifth before finishing with a seven-inning, five-hit performance.

Cabot scored the game-winning run on a walk-off, one-out base hit by leadoff hitter Dylan Bowers. Lee Sullivan had hit a leadoff single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Logan Edmondson to set up Bowers’ walk-off, but it was a defensive play in the top of the seventh that made the last hit a game-winner.

With the score tied 2-2 with two outs and no one on, Malvern’s Jace Turner reached second base on an error at third. Brandon Scott then singled to center field with a hard line drive. Cabot center fielder Logan Kirkendoll fielded the hit on one hop, and fired a perfect throw to the plate, where Braden Jarnagin applied the tag to Turner for the third out and preserved the tie.

Cabot scored one run in the bottom of the fourth inning after Jonathan Harpole got a leadoff base hit, the first one of the game for either team. He later scored on a one-out single down the right field line by Gavin Tillery.

Malvern recorded its first two hits and scored its run with two outs in the top of the fifth inning. Wright drove a shot to the wall in left-center field for a standup double, the first hit of the game for Malvern. Dalton Bray then singled to score his pitcher and tie the game at 1-1.

But Cabot regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Austin Null singled to start the inning and Michael Shepherd walked.

Edmondson then singled down the left field line to score Null before Shepherd was thrown out at third base. It proved a costly base running mistake, as Cabot got another hit by Harpole two batters later.

In the sixth inning, Malvern nine-hole hitter Scott doubled down the left-field line to start the inning. He was still standing on second base with two outs before Tashaun Hart singled to right field to drive in Scott and tie the game.

Cabot finished with seven base hits, with Harpole leading the way, going 2 for 3 with a run scored.

Wright went the distance, giving up all seven hits in six and one-third innings. All three runs were earned while Wright struck out five Cabot batters, walked one and hit one.

Gilbertson also went the distance, giving up two earned runs while striking out three and walking one.

Cabot will play its second game of the tournament at 12:15 p.m. today and its third at 8 p.m. today. The two teams with the best record will play in the championship game at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.