Friday, June 10, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Gwatney, Sheridan split

Leader sports editor

The Gwatney Chevrolet Senior American Legion team salvaged a split Tuesday night in a doubleheader with Sheridan at Dupree Park. The Yellowjackets held on for a 6-5 win in game one, but the Chevy Boys bounced back for a 9-7 victory in the late nightcap.

In game two, Jacksonville fell behind again right away, giving up two runs in the top of the first inning, but made a strong defensive play that helped end the Sheridan rally.

Hunter Hicks drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a bunt by Nathan Kirkpatrick. Nick Whitley then doubled to right-center field to drive in a run. Evan Thompson also doubled to make it 2-0, but he tried to stretch it to a triple. Instead, he was thrown out at third for the second out, and the next batter grounded out to shortstop to end the frame.

Jacksonville got its four batters on base in the bottom of the first, but only scored one run. Tyson Flowers hit a leadoff single but was caught stealing.

Mike Havard doubled and scored on a base hit by Caleb McMunn. Brandon Hickingbotham drew a walk before Javan Wakefield struck out. Kameron Whitmore singled to load the bases, but Joe Cummings’ grounder to third ended the inning.

After holding Sheridan scoreless in the second inning, the Chevy Boys exploded for the rest of their runs in the second.

Jayden Loving started the rally with a one-out base hit to center field. Flowers, Havard and McMunn each hit consecutive singles, and another run scored when Hickingbotham’s fly ball to left field was mishandled.

Wakefield then hammered a three-run home run over the fence in center field that put Gwatney Chevrolet up 6-0.

After a groundout by Whitmore, Cummings walked before Quentin Stallard, Loving and Flowers got three-straight base hits to put Jacksonville up 9-2.

Thompson pulled the Yellowjackets to within five runs with a two-run home run in the third. Three walks and a base hit made it 9-6 in the fourth and Sheridan added one more run on one hit and one walk in the fifth to set the final margin.

Jacksonville held the early lead in game one after scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Flowers and Havard started the game with back-to-back base hits.

McMunn grounded out to third to score Flowers before Hickingbotham walked and Caden Sample was hit to load the bases. Havard then scored on an error at second base off the bat of Whitmore.

Sheridan scored one run on two walks and a base hit in the third inning, and then posted four more in the fourth to take a 5-2 lead.

The rally started when McMunn hit Hicks with the first pitch of the inning. Three base hits and two more walks followed to put Sheridan in the lead.

Jacksonville answered with two in the fourth, but a base running mistake cost it at least one more run. Wakefield started the rally with a one-out double off the wall in straightaway center field, but he was picked off during the next at-bat. Three-straight walks followed before a two-RBI double by Hickingbotham made the score 5-4.

A walk and two Jacksonville errors put Sheridan on top 6-4 going into the bottom of the sixth. The Chevy Boys got back to within one run on a leadoff walk by Whitmore and another double to the centerfield wall by Wakefield with two outs.

Jacksonville got the tying run on base with no outs in the bottom of the seventh when Trent Toney drew a walk, but Jordan Wickersham hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice before Peyton Traywick and Wakefield struck out to end the game.

The doubleheader results leaves the Gwatney Chevrolet Senior team with a 2-1 record. They take the rest of the week off as the Junior team takes part in the Sheridan Junior Invitational. The Senior squad plays in the Sheridan Wood Bat Classic next week.