Friday, July 24, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot legion loses at state

Leader sports editor

The Cabot-Centennial Bank senior team stranded a dozen base runners and suffered a 4-2 defeat to Bryant in the first round of the American Legion state baseball tournament at UA-Fort Smith’s Crowder Field on Friday. A three-run fourth inning for the Black Sox was the difference in the game, as Cabot pitcher Brett Brockinton held the defending state champions at bay most of the game.

Bryant scored one run in the second inning after Trey Breeding hit a leadoff single. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Logan Allen then hit into a 5-4 fielder’s choice that scored Breeding.

Brockinton sat the Sox down in order in the third inning, but a string of hits to start the fourth put Cabot in trouble against Bryant’s ace Jason Hastings.

Breeding again started the rally with a leadoff double down the left-field line. Hastings moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher. Dylan Hurt then doubled to the wall in right field for the RBI. Allen then singled to put runners at the corners before Austin Kelly’s ground ball out drove in Hurt and moved to Allen to second base. Connor Tatum hit an RBI single to center that scored Allen and gave the Black Sox a 4-0 lead.

Cabot got one run back in the top of the fifth, but Hastings came through with a pair of clutch strikeouts. Nine-hole hitter Austin Null hit a one-out single to left field, but Kelly fanned leadoff hitter Dylan Bowers for the second out. Lee Sullivan and Brockinton hit back-to-back singles, with Brockinton’s shot to right scoring Null. With two runners on base, Kelly struck out cleanup hitter Logan Kirkendoll to escape the jam.

Another three-hit rally in the sixth scored just one run for Cabot. Brandon Jones hit a one-out single to left center and moved to second on a wild pitch. Caleb Harpole grounded out to third base for the second out, but Braden Jarnagin and Null hit back-to-back singles, with Jarnagin’s hit to right-center field scoring Jones and leaving runners at the corners. But Hastings fanned Bowers again, standing two more Centennial Bank base runners.

Cabot got back-to-back, one-out hits in the seventh, but again stranded two runners. After going down in order in the eighth, Cabot stranded two more in the ninth after base hits by Sullivan and Kirkendoll. The Zone 3 runners-up also failed to score in the second inning despite four of its five batters reaching base.

Hastings threw all nine innings for Bryant, giving up 14 hits. Null went 3 for 3 for Cabot while Sullivan went 3 for 5. Kirkendoll turned around a horrendous 0 for 3 with three strikeouts through five innings by getting base hits in his final two at-bats.

Brockinton threw seven innings, giving up eight hits along with one walk and one strikeout. Shepherd threw the last inning for Cabot without yielding a hit.

Cabot, 11-11, will play an elimination game at 10 a.m. today at Crowder Field.