Friday, March 17, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot controls Catholic

Leader sports editor

The Cabot baseball team got a huge early win in 7A-Central play on Tuesday, beating the pitching-loaded Catholic Rockets 6-2 at Conrade Field.

The game was particularly important after the Panthers suffered a terrible outing in a 10-0 loss to Oxford, Miss., the previous Friday.

On Tuesday, Cabot scored all six runs in the first inning, running Noah Fowler, one of the state’s top pitching prospects, off the mound after just one inning of work.

Those runs were more than Cabot pitcher Logan Gilbertson needed. The 6-foot-6 UCA signee threw all seven innings for the Panthers, giving up just four hits and one earned run while striking out nine and walking just two. Despite giving up just four hits, Gilbertson had to work through some trouble because of the five fielding errors committed by the home team.

One of the four hits came in the top of the first inning, but Cameron Tissue grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning, three-up-three-down.

Cabot (6-3, 1-0) then went to work at the plate. Blake McCutchen hit a leadoff single, and worked his way around the bases during Clayton Gray’s nine-pitch at-bat. Gray finally singled to score McCutchen for a 1-0 Cabot lead.

Denver Mullins then grounded to shortstop for a fielder’s choice, but the throw to second was off the mark, allowing Gray to advance to third. Dillon Thomas then hit an RBI single to left field for a 2-0 Cabot lead.

Houston King smacked the fourth single of the inning to load the bases and still no outs. Logan Edmondson made it three hits in a row, and drove in two more runs with his hard shot to left field. Caleb Harpole hit a grounder to short, where Tissue made another error that allowed King to score and moving Edmondson to third base.

Conner Linton recorded the first out of the inning, but Edmondson scored on a passed ball during Kyler Franks’ at-bat to cap Cabot’s scoring for the night. Fowler then hit Franks at the bottom of the lineup, but then got McCutchen and Gray to fly out to finally end the inning.

J. Matt Rogers took the mound of Catholic (4-3, 0-1) in the second inning, and shut things down in that frame. Linton doubled with two outs in the third, and Franks walked, but Rogers got out of the jam by striking out McCutchen.

Catholic got its leadoff hitter on base in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but never advanced him beyond second base. Gilbertson hit Jordan McCuin to start the third before getting a pop up and a strikeout. An error put runners on first and second, but E Hiatt lined out to second base to end that threat.

Thomas misplayed a ball at third base to start the fourth inning, but Gilbertson then fanned the next three batters on just 12 pitches.

An error in left started things off for Catholic in the top of the fifth, but E Fowler hit into a 4-6-3 double play, and Gilbertson struck out Henry Coppens to end that inning.

The Rockets finally got on the board in the sixth. Catholic had two outs in just three pitches, but Gilbertson then walked C Hogg and Luke Wewers singled to left field. William Plafcan then singled to score King to make the score 6-1.

Cabot got two quick outs in the seventh inning as well, but back-to-back errors led to the Rockets’ final run. Gilbertson closed the game by striking out Hiatt.

Gray was the only player with multiple hits, going 2 for 4 with one run scored and one RBI.