Friday, July 15, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot gets early lead, defeats AA Black Sox

Leader sports editor

The Cabot AA American Legion team picked up another solid win on Tuesday, bouncing back from a terrible Monday outing to beat the Bryant AA Black Sox 7-3 at the Cabot Sportsplex.

Cabot pitcher Koleton Eastham sat Bryant down in order in the top of the first inning, and the Centennial Bank squad scored the game’s first two runs in the bottom half of the frame.

Leadoff hitter Brian Tillery drew a leadoff walk and stole second base. Eastham singled to drive him in before the next two batters popped up to first base and struck out. Eastham also stole second, and scored when Nick Belden singled to left field to give Cabot a 2-0 lead.

Bryant pulled within 2-1 in the second inning on back-to-back two-out singles, but Cabot got the run back in its half of the inning.

Geno Germer was hit by a pitch with one out. With two outs, Blake Buffalo hit a grounder to third base that was missed, allowing Germer to score on the error and giving Centennial Bank a 3-1 lead.

Belden retired the side in order again in the third inning, and Cabot extended its lead.

This time, Eastham drew the leadoff walk and Gavin Tillery singled to put runners on the corners. Belden hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Eastham and got Gavin Tillery thrown out at second base. Michael Crumbly then singled to score Belden, giving Centennial Bank a 5-1 advantage.

That’s how the score stayed until the sixth inning. Belden allowed just one base runner in the fourth and fifth innings, but the Black Sox scored two unearned runs in the top of the sixth.

A leadoff single was followed by a fly out to center field. Another base hit and a walk loaded the bases for Bryant. Cabot then committed back-to-back infield errors to allow the two runners to score.

But Centennial got them back and set the final margin in the bottom of the same inning. Buffalo drew a one-out walk. With two outs, Eastham and Easton Seidl hit consecutive RBI doubles to make the score 7-3. During the next at-bat, Seidl was caught stealing third to end the inning.

Gavin Tillery pitched the top of the seventh and the ball never got past the pitcher’s mound. He struck out the first batter, and then fielded a pop-up and a dribbling grounder back to the bump for a 1-3 final out and the save.

Eastham threw six solid innings, giving up one earned run on five base hits, seven strikeouts and one walk.

The Cabot AA team (11-11) is off this weekend while the Cabot Junior team hosts the District 3 tournament at the Sportsplex and the Cabot City Park on Ritchie Road.

The Cabot Junior team won its regular-season finale on Wednesday, beating North Little Rock 13-3 at Burns Park. The Junior Centennial squad trailed 3-1 after three innings, but exploded for 12 runs in the fourth and ended the game early on the sportsmanship rule.

Caleb Wilson and Kevin Lenahan each had two RBIs to lead all players in that category. No one had multiple hits.

Brian Tillery, Germer, Buffalo and Jack Broyles also drove in one run apiece.

The Junior team began play in the District 3 tournament on Friday. Jacksonville and Beebe also had teams in that tournament. Look for complete stories on all three Junior teams in Wednesday’s Leader.