Wednesday, July 15, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot juniors upset in zone

Leader sportswriter

For the first time in 10 years, the Cabot junior American Legion team won’t appear in the state tournament.

The Centennial Bank  squad’s season came to an end Monday in the  qualifying round of the Zone 3 tournament at Maumelle with a blistering 17-1 loss to Morrilton.

In that game, which decided the third and final state tournament seed from Zone 3, Cabot was held to just two hits en route to the one-sided loss.

The Centennial Bank squad was the favorite to win the Zone 3 tournament, but found itself needing a win on Monday just to qualify for state. That’s because Beebe’s O’Reilly Auto Parts team upset Cabot earlier in the tournament, thanks largely to a stellar pitching performance by Geno Germer that earned Beebe a 2-1 victory.

Cabot started the Beebe game with its lone run in the first inning before being shut out the rest of the way, but things went south in a hurry for Cabot on Monday.

Morrilton scored six of its 17 runs in the top of the first inning before adding five more in the second to take a commanding 11-0 lead.

The top of the second started with Jaylan Hawkins reaching on an error at shortstop. Ethan Roberts walked the next at-bat, and both runners advanced on a balk.

Hawkins scored on a passed ball to make it a 7-0 ballgame, and two more walks were issued before Morrilton scored its eighth run on a no-out, RBI single to the left-field gap by Quentin Bowling.

Cade Chapman singled to center field the following at-bat to drive in Rustin Hayes, and Morrilton scored its 10th run shortly after. On that play, Bowling, who was at second base, stole third, then home on the same play as the high throw to third from behind the plate sailed into shallow left field.

Morrilton’s final run of the inning came on a two-out, RBI single by Ben Jackson. Chapman scored on the play.

The third inning went scoreless, but Morrilton got back to putting runs on the board in the fourth, where it scored the remainder of its runs – all with two outs.

The first two runs of the fourth inning were scored on a two-RBI double down the left-field line by Jackson. Bowling and Jaren Hill scored on the play to make the score 13-0.

Jackson scored two batters later on another double down the left-field line, this one by Roberts. The next at-bat was the highlight of the game – a three-run home run by Hayes, which gave Morrilton its largest lead at 17-0.

Cabot finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Morrilton starting pitcher Tanner Albilar had a no-hitter going into the inning, and kept it going until Nicholas Belden ended it with a two-out single to center field.

Belden also got an RBI on the play as Bobby Joe Duncan scored after reaching base on a fielder’s choice two batters earlier. Duncan’s run set the final score. Cabot’s only other hit of the day came in the fifth inning on a Dillon Thomas single. After the fifth inning, the game was called because of the sportsmanship rule, as Morrilton’s lead was larger than 10 runs after five innings of play.

Morrilton racked up nine hits for the game, but Jackson was the only Morrilton player with multiple hits. He went 2 for 3 with a single and double. Albilar threw all five innings, getting the win.

He had five strikeouts. Cabot looked like the dominant team in the league in its other two tournament games, outscoring three-seed Jacksonville Red and four-seed Searcy by a combined 22-0.

With Monday’s loss, Cabot ends its season with a 24-6 record.