Friday, June 02, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Centennial wins debut

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Junior and Senior American Legion teams split a doubleheader with Little Rock on Wednesday at the Cabot Sports Complex. The senior team won its season opener 5-4 over the Vipers, while the junior team lost for just the second time in five games, falling 6-0. On Thursday, the senior team played its first road game, and hammered Searcy 13-1.

The senior team scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 3-0 lead. Cabot starting pitcher Brett Brockinton threw three innings of one-hit baseball, but had to settle for the no decision after the Vipers scored three in the fifth to tie it up.

The visiting team scored again to take the lead in the top of the sixth, but the Centennial Bank squad scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to set the final margin. Michael Shepherd took the mound in the top of the seventh to get the save.

Gino Germer pitched the sixth inning and got the win despite giving up the run that gave LR the lead. Dylan Billingsley entered with one out in the fourth and pitched through the fifth inning.

Both teams managed four base hits, but four Little Rock errors aided Cabot’s cause while the Centennial Bank team committed only one.

Blake McCutchen got two of those hits for the home team while Dillon Thomas got the game’s only extra-base hit. Rail Gilliam singled for Cabot’s other base knock.

McCutchen, Easton Seidl and Logan Edmondson drove in a run apiece.

In the junior game, Little Rock took a quick lead with two runs in the top of the first inning, and added two more in each of the fourth and sixth innings.

Cabot missed prime opportunities to score in the third and fourth innings. In the third inning, Graham Turner and Jake Moudy got back-to-back base hits in the eight and nine holes. Leadoff hitter Jackson Olivi was then hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs.

Blayse Quarnstrom then hit into a 5-2 fielder’s choice that got Turner thrown out at home. Austin Scritchfield struck out and Tanner Wilson hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice to end the inning.

Little Rock’s Davis Lee and Logan Gassaway drew leadoff walks in the top of the fourth. They moved up a base on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Alex Clark scored Lee and left Gassaway at second base. Brad Fryer singled to put runners on the corners, and the two base runners pulled off a double steal to take a 4-0 lead.

Cabot then put runners at first and third with one out in the bottom of the fourth, but again failed to push a runner across home plate. Singles by Bell and Blake Buffalo sandwiched a strikeout by Mason Griffin. Turner then hit another hard line drive, but this one went right to the second baseman, who doubled up Buffalo at first base to end the threat.

Three-straight singles by the visitors in the top of the sixth set the final margin.

Little Rock’s junior team out-hit Cabot 8-6.

In Thursday’s game, Centennial Bank piled up 14 base hits, including a home run by Thomas. A dozen of the hits were singles, while Edmondson, last year’s state tournament MVP, went 2 for 3 with a double. McCutchen, Thomas, Seidl, Brian Tillery and Jack Broyles all had two base hits. Thomas finished with three RBIs. Tillery drove in two runs while Caleb Harpole, Seidl, Edmondson and Broyles had one RBI apiece.

Shepherd started and got the win. Caleb Wilson pitched the last three and a third innings.

The senior team plays again at 7 p.m. today in Sheridan, and will be at Russellville on Tuesday with the junior team.