Tuesday, August 04, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot senior legion takes fourth at state

Leader sports editor

The Centennial Bank senior American Legion team finished fourth in the state tournament that took place at UA-Fort Smith’s Crowder Field last week. The Bryant Black Sox repeated as state champions after beating Cabot 4-2 in the first round, but the Centennial Bank squad should have won that game. Cabot out-hit the state champs 14-8, but left 12 runners on base and managed just two runs.

That sent Cabot to the loser’s bracket, where it defeated Conway 6-5 after falling behind early. Cabot’s first run came in the fifth inning. Blake McCutchen reached base on an error in right field and advanced on a throwing error by the pitcher on a pickoff move. He then scored when Austin Null singled to center field with two outs.

The sixth inning went much like Cabot’s entire game against Bryant. Five batters went to the plate and four got base hits, but only scored two runs.

Dylan Bowers led off with a single but was caught off the base paths and thrown out on a 2-5-6 play after Lee Sullivan’s single. Brett Brockinton struck out for the second out. Logan Kirkendoll then doubled to score Sullivan. Kirkendoll then scored on a single by Gavin Tillery, but Tillery was caught stealing to end the inning.

Cabot, 16-14, still trailed 5-3 going into the eighth inning when a Conway pitching change spelled doom for the Cougars. After Null struck out to start the eighth, Bowers, Sullivan and Brockinton drew consecutive walks. Kirkendoll picked up another RBI with a sacrifice fly to right field. Tillery then drove in the tying and winning runs with a base hit to right field.

Tillery went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and was also the winning pitcher. He threw eight innings for the win, while Logan Gilbertson held Conway scoreless in the ninth inning to earn the save.

Cabot faced Russellville on Sunday in another elimination game, and came away with a 5-4 victory on the strength of nine base hits. Brockinton, Kirkendoll and Braden Jarnagin each had two hits while those three plus Bowers and Tillery drove in one run apiece.

Gilbertson threw the first six innings, but Michael Shepherd got the win by holding Russellville scoreless over the last three as Cabot mounted its comeback.

That eliminated Russellville and sent Cabot to the semifinals against Texarkana. The Tigers held Cabot to just four hits and earned a 7-3 victory.

Cabot’s first run came in the first inning when a single by Sullivan was followed by a Texarkana error. Trailing 7-1, Cabot put together a minor rally in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough. Bowers and Sullivan each got one-out base hits. Bowers scored on Sullivan’s hit, and Sullivan scored on a wild pitch.