Thursday, July 02, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot explodes in late innings for win

By GRAHAM POWELLLeader sportswriter

The Cabot Centennial Bank junior American legion team’s game with Jacksonville’s Gwatney Chevrolet Blue team was tied at 2-2 after four innings of play, but it was all Cabot in the final three innings, as Centennial Bank routed Gwatney Blue 13-2 Tuesday at Dupree Park in Jacksonville.

Cabot (19-4) scored the game’s first two runs in the top of the third inning and Jacksonville (7-9) answered with both of its runs in the bottom of the fourth. Unfortunately for Gwatney Blue, though, Centennial Bank took complete control the rest of the way.

The Cabot junior team put up four runs in the fifth inning, then scored three more in the sixth and four more in the seventh, while holding Jacksonville scoreless through that stretch, to take a double-digit lead and set the final score in the process.

“I think the second time we went around in the lineup they kind of figured the first (pitcher) out,” said Cabot assistant coach Joe Bryant. “I was real impressed with our starting pitcher, (Dylan) Billingsley.

“Our last kid (Skylar Weidman), he’s never pitched before. I wanted to see what he could do, and he came in and threw strikes.”

Billingsley earned the win on the mound. He threw the first six innings Tuesday, and gave up four hits and just one earned run before being relieved by Weidman in the seventh. Weidman retired the side, ending the game with a strikeout. Jacksonville’s two-run fourth inning started with a Tyson Flowers bunt single. Caden Sample singled to center field the next at-bat, and starting pitcher A.J. Jackson lined out to shortstop the following at-bat.

Jackson’s hit was caught by Cabot shortstop Blake McCutchen. Sample was off first base as McCutchen made the catch, and in an effort to turn two, McCutchen threw the ball to first base, but the throw was high, allowing Flowers to score from second base, which cut Cabot’s lead to 2-1. Sample advanced to second on the play.

A bunt single by D.J. Stirgus the next at-bat advanced Sample to third base, and two batters later, Sample scored on a sac fly to center field by Ryan Rosel, which tied the game at 2-2.

Cabot answered in the top of the fifth with its four runs scored that inning. Brian Tillery led off the inning with a walk. He stole second base before scoring via an error at shortstop. That ground ball to short was off the bat of Brenden Sheldon, and it gave Cabot the lead for good.

McCutchen reached on an error at second base the next at-bat, and both Sheldon and McCutchen scored two batters later on a single to right center by Easton Seidl. Seidl later scored on a two-out single by Ty Cyr, which put Cabot on top 6-2.

“We came back up and it was a new ballgame,” Jacksonville Blue coach Clayton Sample said of his team entering the fifth inning. “We walked a few guys and then they got a few base hits, and next thing you know, it’s 6-2, and I think it kind of snowballed from there.”

Cabot then added three more runs in the sixth before scoring four more in the seventh to make it an 11-run game. Tillery scored the 10th run for Cabot after drawing his fourth walk of the game. He crossed the plate on a double by McCutchen.

Centennial Bank’s next run was scored on a sac fly to center field by Seidl. Sheldon scored on the play after walking three batters earlier.

McCutchen made it a 12-2 game after scoring on a passed ball and Brett Brockinton scored the final run of the night on a wild pitch shortly after.

Cabot outhit Jacksonville 9-4 Tuesday. McCutchen led all batters at the plate, going 3 for 3 with two RBIs and four runs scored. Seidl and Brockinton also had multiple hits with two each.

For Jacksonville, Kam Whitmore, Flowers, Stirgus and Sample each had one hit.