Friday, June 16, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Junior team bring record to 7-4

Special to The Leader

The Jacksonville Gwatney Chevrolet junior American Legion team defeated the Cabot Centennial Bank A team 9-4 Wednesday night at the Cabot Water Park and Sports Complex. The teams were tied at 3-3 after the first inning, but Jacksonville continued to score while holding the A team to only one additional run.

Gwatney improved its record to 7-4 while Cabot fell to 1-10.

“Pleased offensively,” Gwatney coach Larry Burrows commented. “We scored every inning and that was big tonight. We kept adding runs, adding runs, and kept putting the pressure back on them and alleviating it some on us. When you score every inning, that’s a good way to play, right there. It’s a little easier, so some of those walks, some of those things don’t hurt you as bad. Pleased offensively, for sure.”

As the visitor, Jacksonville got on the scoreboard first with three runs. Clay Burrows drew a base on balls, and Jaylon McGee reached second on a hit that got by the center fielder. Bryce Overman singled to right to score them and then scored on a double down the right field line by Axton Ramick.

The A team answered with three of their own to tie. Randy Couch doubled to right, Austin Calhoun walked, Parker Ashcraft and Coy Lovercheck were hit by pitches, Trent Maness walked and Reid Blackwell was hit by a pitch. One run scored when a pick off play went awry and two on hit by pitches with the bases loaded. Jacob McCaa came to the mound, was responsible for one hit by pitch, but then got a ground ball to shortstop Justin Dennis, who turned a double play to end the inning. Couch, Calhoun, and Ashcraft had come in to score.

Jacksonville added one in the second. Randy Davis singled to lead off. Burrows singled with two outs, McGee walked, Davis scored on an error on the play, and Gwatney had the lead at 4-3.

Jacksonville picked up two more in the top of the third. Ramick led off with a hit up the middle. Ethan Gray moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Robert Johnson scored him with a single and then scored on a hit by Ryan Ready to up the lead to 6-3.

Cabot responded with one run in their half of the frame. Calhoun started things off with a base hit up the middle, moved to second on a pitch in the dirt, and scored on a throw-ing error to cut the lead to 6-4.

Overman reached on an error and scored for Gwatney in the fourth inning. Johnson and Burrows each reached on throwing errors in the fifth and scored.

The A team’s Hayden Wood drew a base on balls in the fourth frame, reached third on wild pitches, and would have scored, with two outs, on a ground ball to shortstop, but the call was out at first base.

In the fifth and final inning played, Cabot had loaded the bases on two walks and an infield hit, but Ramick moved to the mound for Gwatney and got two strike outs to end the inning and the game. McCaa had pitched until then since he entered the game in the first. Calhoun went the distance on the mound for the Centennial Bank A team.

Overman had two hits and scored two runs for Jacksonville. Ramick also had two hits and scored once. Ready, McGee, Gray, Davis, and Johnson all had one hit. Burrows reached all four times with a hit, two walks, and on an error. He and Johnson also scored two runs.

Calhoun had one hit, one walk, and scored twice for Cabot. Madness and Couch also had one hit.