Friday, July 14, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Gwatney loses in final four of Zone 3

Leader sports editor

The Gwatney Chevrolet Junior American Legion team saw its season come to an end Tuesday in the semifinals of the Zone 3 tournament in Cabot. Jacksonville fell 13-4 to Pine Bluff at the Cabot Sports Complex.

The game was close for three innings. Pine Bluff scored one run in the first, two in the second and one in the third for a 4-0 lead. Jacksonville stayed within striking distance and got a run in the top of the fourth, but the bottom began to fall out after that.

In the top of the fourth, Ryan Ready got a leadoff base hit and reached third on an error at third base. Justin Dennis this got an RBI base hit to right field to drive in the Chevy Boys’ first run.

In the bottom of the fourth, a single, a walk and a hit batter started a five-run rally that left the Relyance Bank squad up by eight runs. After two quick outs, two more walks and another base hit brought in the final runs of the frame.

Jacksonville tried to keep it close with three runs in the top of the fifth. Back at the top of the order, Clay Burrows drew a leadoff walk and Bryce Overman singled to left field.

After a strikeout, Axton Ramick singled to drive in Burrows. Ready then hit a hard grounder to shortstop, where the ball was flubbed, allowing the final two runs to score.

Pine Bluff went down in order for the first time in the fifth inning, giving itself a chance to make a game of it. But two strikeouts and an infield pop-up was all the team could muster.

Having played three, seven-inning games in three days, Jacksonville was running low on pitching, and struggled to get people out in the sixth. Pine Bluff got four more runs on five base hits and a walk to set the final margin. Jacksonville went three up, three down in the top of the seventh to end the game.

Overman, Ramick, Ready and Dennis provided all four Jacksonville base hits.