Tuesday, March 28, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot gets win at Chapel High

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panthers went to Watson Chapel on Monday and came away with a 6-4 victory, avenging a 7-4, eight-inning home loss to the Wildcats back on March 8.

Chapel entered the game fresh off a runner-up performance in the Central Arkansas Invitational, and led Cabot twice before a three-run seventh-inning gave the Panthers the victory.

Cabot had opportunities to take control before the final inning. The Panthers had 11 base hits to just three for Chapel. The Wildcats also committed four errors while Cabot had two.

The Panthers’ projected starting lineup has been dotted with injuries since the beginning of the season, but that got a little better with the return of Bobby Joe Duncan, who has been out all season with an injury suffered during basketball.

He made an immediate impact, going 2 for 4 with a triple and two RBIs in the eight-hole for Cabot.

Zach Morris gave up all three hits and all four runs infive innings of work, but none of the runs were earned. He struck out eight and walked two in earning the no decision.

Michael Shepherd pitched the sixth inning, and got one out in the bottom of the seventh after Cabot took the lead to get the win. Brett Brockinton got the last two outs for the save.

Cabot (9-5, 2-0) took the early lead in the top of the first, but Chapel posted three in the bottom of the same inning. Clayton Gray reached on an error in left field with one out. Denver Mullins and Dillon Thomas then hit back-to-back singles to load the bases.

Wildcat pitcher Trent Goodman fanned Houston King and Dillon Wofford, but Gray was able to score on a passed ball during Wofford’s at-bat for the quick Cabot lead.

Chapel (7-7) leadoff hitter Gianti Turner reached on an error at second base before Cabot recorded two outs. Morris hit Andrew Morgan and Ja’Kobi Jackson doubled to left field to drive in Turner and leave two runners in scoring position.

Hayden Arnold then singled to drive in both base runners for a 3-1 Chapel lead.

Cabot got one back in the top of the third inning after Blake McCutchen hit a leadoff single. With one out, Denver Mullins hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice, but the throw to get the lead runner was wild, and McCutchen advanced to third.

Thomas then hit a fly ball to center field, deep enough to score McCutchen and make the score 3-2.

The Panthers tied it in the fourth when Wofford hit a leadoff single, and then scored on Duncan’s triple down the right-field line. Harpole then hit a grounder to third that Scott Taylor couldn’t wrangle. Duncan couldn’t advance, leaving runners on the corners. Kyle Franks went down looking for the first out of the inning before the Panthers ran themselves out of a rally.

Harpole stole second base and McCutchen grounded to third. Duncan tried to score but was thrown out, Harpole then made for third where he was also thrown out for the rare 5-2-6 double play that ended the inning.

Chapel reclaimed the lead in the fifth when Davion White reached second base on a two-out error, and scored on a base hit by Morgan.

Cabot’s game-winning rally in the seventh started with Franks taking one for the team to start things off. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by McCutchen, and to third on a single by Gray. Another hit by Mullins tied the game and left runners at first and second.

Thomas then singled to score Gray and advance Ty Cyr, Mullins’ courtesy runner, to second base. Duncan then got his second RBI with a blooper just out of the reach of first baseman Joe Moore that set the final margin.

Cabot hosted Conway in a crucial 7A-Central game on Tuesday. Look for details of that game in Saturday’s Leader. They will host another 7A-Central opponent in Little Rock Central on Friday.