Tuesday, June 30, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Too many stranded, Cabot falls to Conway

Leader sports editor

The Centennial Bank senior American Legion team made it to the championship game of the Gwatney Chevrolet Summer Classic in Jacksonville, but lost 6-0 to the Conway Cougars on Sunday. Missed opportunities on offense and errors on defense told the story of the game.

Cabot put runners in scoring position in four of the first five innings, and had multiple runners in scoring position with one or fewer outs in the fourth and fifth innings. Cabot loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and failed to score.

Centennial Bank pitcher Lee Sullivan retired Conway’s first nine batters before giving up two singles to start the fourth inning. That’s when the Cabot defense fell apart. The runners advanced on a wild pitch and leadoff hitter Scott Weaver scored on a 6-4 fielder’s choice. Conway scored four more runs in the inning and three were results of errors, one at third base, one in right field and one at the plate.

Conway got one more run on a solo homer by cleanup hitter Josh Walker off relief pitcher Logan Gilbertson to set the final margin.

Cabot won three games to make it to Sunday night’s championship. They beat Searcy 4-2 on Saturday and beat Benton 8-2 early Sunday afternoon.

Cabot scored two runs off two hits in the first inning against Benton. Logan Kirkendoll was hit by a pitch with two outs before Gavin Tillery reached on an error at second base. Logan Edmondson and Brandon Jones then hit back-to-back singles to drive in the runners.

Benton scored one unearned run in the bottom of the first and the second inning was scoreless. Cabot scored four in the third to take command of the game. Braden Jarnagin hit a leadoff single before Kirkendoll was hit by a pitch. Tillery singled to load the bases and Edmondson hit into a 6-2 fielder’s choice that got Jarnagin at home plate.

Jones flew out to left field and Hayden Vinson was hit by a pitch to drive in the first run. Two walks and a wild pitch brought home the other three.

Benton scored once in the bottom of the third and Cabot added two more in the sixth. Dylan Bowers and Jarnagin got two singles to start the sixth inning, and both scored on sacrifice grounders by Kirkendoll and Tillery.

In Sunday’s game against Searcy, Cabot broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the sixth inning for that victory.

Cabot took a quick lead in the top of the first inning, scoring one run on two walks, a stolen base and a sacrifice fly by Kirkendoll. Searcy tied it in the bottom of the first with a hit and a Cabot error. Searcy took the lead in the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back doubles down the left field line, but Cabot tied it in the top of the fifth with a solo home run by Sullivan.

Centennial Bank then got its first two batters on base in the sixth when Tillery and Jarnagin singled to start things off. After a passed ball put them in scoring position, Gilbertson and Vinson drove them in with sacrifice grounders.

Cabot played at Jacksonville last night in a zone matchup. It will play at Benton tonight and at Sheridan on Thursday. Look for details of those games in Saturday’s edition of The Leader.