Friday, July 08, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot’s AA gets pair of victories

Leader sports editor

The Cabot AA American Legion team went 2-1 this week in a trio of home games at the Cabot Sportsplex. The Centennial Bank squad swept Central Arkansas Christian 11-5, and 14-2 on Tuesday, then lost 4-2 to North Little Rock on Wednesday.

In game one on Tuesday, Cabot posted three runs in the first inning and never trailed.

Caleb Harpole scored on a double by Gavin Tillery to start the rally. Michael Crumbly then singled to score Tillery and Brandon Jones doubled to drive in Crumbly for the 3-0 lead.

CAC cut the margin to two in the top of the second on a walk and Cabot error, but Centennial Bank got it back in the bottom half. Brian Tillery singled with one out, stole a base and scored on two wild pitches.

The Mustangs answered with another unearned run in the top of the third. A walk and two errors brought in the second CAC run, but Cabot scored three in the bottom of the third.

Gavin Tillery led off with a single and scored when Jones’ grounder to third was mishandled. Nicholas Belden then singled to score Jones, and Geno Germer drove in the third run for a 7-2 Centennial Bank lead.

CAC’s best inning was the fourth when the Mustangs scored three runs on two walks and two base hits. Cabot didn’t score in the bottom of the fourth and led 7-5 going into the fifth inning.

Caleb Wilson, who took the mound with two outs in the fourth, sat the Mustangs down in order in the fifth, and Cabot added the game’s final four runs in the bottom half.

Wilson and Belden hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. Jack Broyles drew a one-out walk and Brian Tillery picked up an RBI with a walk that scored Wilson.

Harpole singled to score two more runs and Gavin Tillery’s third base hit put the final run across the plate.

Gavin Tillery went 3 for 3 with a double, a walk, two runs scored and two RBIs. Belden also went 3 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Brian Tillery went 2 for 3 with a walk, two stolen bases and two runs scored. Harpole went 2 for 4 with a stolen base and scored two runs.

Michael Shepherd threw three and two-thirds innings for the win on the mound. He gave up three hits, three two walks and three earned runs while striking out five. Wilson pitched the remainder of the game, giving up no hits while walking one.

Game two was over quickly. Cabot scored six in the first and eight in the second and the game was called after the top of the fourth inning.

Shepherd capped the big opening frame with a three-run, inside-the-park home run to straightaway center field.

Cabot (9-10) scored all eight runs in the second inning with two outs. There were only six hits in the inning, but that went along with two hit batters and five bases on balls.

Shepherd, Wilson and Brian Tillery each got two base hits. Tillery was hit once and scored all three times he reached base. Shepherd finished with four RBIs.

Germer gave up two runs on two hits and two walks in the first inning. He struck out two and retired the side in order in the second to get the win.

Broyles pitched the last two innings. He gave up one hit in each inning, allowed no runs while striking out two and walking no one.

In Wednesday’s game, North Little Rock scored all four runs in the top of the first inning, and pitcher Christian Goshen did the rest.

Brian Tillery started on the mound and struggled to find the strike zone. He hit three of the first four batters before giving up two hits and a walk to account for the Colts entire offense.

Gavin Tillery took the mound in the second inning and scattered three hits over his five innings of work.

Cabot scored twice in the fourth to set the final margin. Easton Seidl reached on an error at second base to start the inning. Gavin Tillery then doubled to drive in Seidl. A sacrifice grounder by Jones moved Gavin Tillery to third, and a deep fly ball by Crumbly drove him home.

Cabot threatened again in the fifth with runners on first and second with one out, but Goshen got Koleton Eastham to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the jam. Goshen retired six in a row in the sixth and seventh innings, including closing the game with back-to-back strikeouts.

The Centennial AA team played Morrilton at home last night after Leader deadlines. They take today off before embarking on four-straight days of games Sunday through Wednesday. They play Conway at Hendrix College at 8 p.m. Sunday, host Russellville at 6 p.m. Monday, host Bryant for a Junior/AA doubleheader on Tuesday, and are at North Little Rock for a Junior/AA doubleheader on Wednesday.