Tuesday, June 23, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Triple play lifts C-Bank

Leader sports editor

A triple play thwarted a potentially huge Beebe rally and a walk-off walk sealed the game in Cabot’s favor, as the Centennial Bank junior American Legion team overcame a tough challenge from Beebe’s O’Reilly’s Auto Parts at Cabot City Park on Monday, winning 6-5.

Cabot led 5-1 going into the third inning, but Beebe cut one run into that lead with three base hits, one each by Ty Searcy, John Finley and Carson McNeil.

Beebe’s Finley took the mound in relief and kept Cabot’s bats quiet over the next four innings while O’Reilly’s continued to chip away at Centennial Bank’s lead.

Beebe (5-8, 3-3) loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth inning when bad luck and a stellar defensive play put a halt to the rally.

Hunter Lawrence drew an RBI walk that brought leadoff hitter Ty Searcy to the plate with the bases still loaded. Searcy hit a hard, topspin line drive just to the left of second base and the runners took off. But Cabot shortstop Brenden Sheldon made a diving catch just before the ball hit the ground, got up, stepped on second base and threw to first before the runners could get back to end the inning.

“That’s pretty sweet for him,” said Cabot coach Chris Gross of Sheldon’s triple play. “Not many people can say they’ve done something like that.”

Beebe put together a two-out rally in the fifth, starting with a base hit by Carson McNeil. Blaine Burge walked and Jacob Davis hit a line-drive single to left-center field to make the score 5-4. O’Reilly’s got all the way back in the top of the seventh.

Tyler Fowler drew a one-out walk and advanced all the way to third on a passed ball and a wild pitch. Finley then hit a single to shallow center field that scored Fowler to tie the game at 5-5.

But Finley’s control be-trayed him in the bottom of the seventh. He got a groundout before walking Sheldon and striking out Will Jerry.

He then walked Brett Brockinton and Easton Seidl to load the bases, and walked Logan Gilbertson to give up the game-winning run.

Beebe scored first in the top of the first inning before Cabot scored five in a row, three in the first and two in the second. Beebe’s run came on an RBI double by McNeil that drove in Fowler, who had been hit by a pitch.

Cabot answered with a leadoff walk by Sheldon, followed by base hits by Jerry and Brockinton. A one-out single by Gilbertson scored two runs, and an error at shortstop off the bat of Dillon Thomas scored Brockinton.

In the second, Sheldon got a one-out single followed by an RBI double by Jerry. He moved to third on a fly ball to center field by Brockinton and scored on a wild pitch.

Cabot (16-2, 6-0) got five base hits. Jerry led the way offensively, going 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Sheldon went 1 for 1 with three walks and three runs scored. Cabot walked seven times.

Beebe got four base hits with McNeil getting half those. The visitors drew five walks.

Brockinton blew the save but got the win in two innings of relief.

Game two did not count towards the zone record and was called after four innings, but featured a dominant effort on the mound by Dillon Thomas, who is not even among the pitching rotation.

Thomas threw three innings of no-hit ball for Centennial Bank, including six strikeouts, two in each inning.

Cabot scored once in the bottom of the first. Sheldon was hit by a pitch and stole second and third base. He then scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Brockinton.

Skylar Weidman drew a leadoff walk to start the second inning and stole second base. Michael Crumbly then singled to right field to score Weidman.

Brockinton capped the night’s scoring with flare, driving a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left field to set the final margin. Seidl took the mound in the bottom of the fourth, and retired the side.