Tuesday, June 28, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Gwatney Juniors win big over Bears

Leader sportswriter

The Gwatney Chevrolet Junior American Legion team cruised in their game against Sylvan Hills Monday night at Mike Bromley Field in Sherwood, scoring eight runs in the first two innings en route to a 12-2 win.

Six of Jacksonville’s 12 runs came in the first inning, and all six came with two outs. Trent Toney singled the second at-bat of the game for the first hit of the night, but went back to the dugout the next at-bat on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Caden Sample.

Starting pitcher Foster Rash then walked before Axton Ramick delivered an RBI single. Joe Cummings and Robert Johnson reached base consecutively before catcher Jayden Loving and Isaiah Cain followed with back-to-back RBI singles, giving the Chevy Boys a 6-0 lead.

After Rash and Jacksonville’s defense held the Bears off the board in the bottom half of the inning, Gwatney added their next two runs in the top of the second. Sample got things started that inning with a one-out triple, and Rash followed with an RBI double that put the Jacksonville juniors up 7-0.

Ramick then flew out to right field for the second out of the inning, but Cummings followed with an RBI single to drive in Peyton Williams, Rash’s courtesy runner, giving Jacksonville its 8-0 lead.

The junior varsity Bears scored both of their runs in the bottom of the third. Sylvan Hills’ first run of the night came on an RBI triple by Dylan Smith. Gage Taylor hit into a 6-2 fielder’s choice two batters later, and advanced to second base on a wild pitch with teammate Payton Terry at the plate.

Terry then hit a two-out triple to left field, scoring Taylor and cutting the Jacksonville lead to 8-2. After Terry slid into third base, lightning struck nearby and put the game to a halt at 6:30. Play resumed 47 minutes later, but a 6-3 groundout the first at-bat after the lightning delay ended the third inning with the score 8-2.

In the top of the fourth, Jacksonville scored the remainder of its runs. The inning began with four-straight walks. Ramick’s gave him an easy RBI as Caleb Anderson scored for a 9-2 Jacksonville lead.

After Ramick’s walk, Cummings singled to straightaway center field to drive in two more runs. Sample and Williams scored on the play, putting Jacksonville on top 11-2. The final run of the inning came on a two-out, RBI single to left field by leadoff hitter Kameron Whitmore.

Cummings scored on Whitmore’s RBI hit, and Jacksonville held Sylvan Hills scoreless in the bottom of the fourth to end the game on the 10-run sportsmanship rule.

Rash earned the win on the hill for the Chevy Boys. He threw the first three innings before being relieved by Sample at the start of the fourth. Rash gave up just two hits in his three innings of work, striking out two and walking only one batter. Sample gave up no hits in the fourth inning, and had one strikeout and one walk.

Jacksonville had eight different players get a base hit Monday – Whitmore, Toney, Sample, Rash, Ramick, Cummings, Loving and Cain.