Monday, July 03, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Three for Cabot at the Hagan

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Senior American Legion baseball team won its first three games of the Keith Hagan All-American Classic in Memphis over the weekend. Cabot started the tournament, hosted by the Memphis University Tigers baseball program, on Friday with a 7-2 win over the Arlington, Tenn., Legends.

The Legends scored one unearned run in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead. Cabot came back with two runs in the top of the second and never trailed again.

In the second inning, Michael Crumbly drew a one-out walk and Brody Schluter did the same in the nine-hole. Back at the top of the lineup, Blake McCutchen and Caleb Harpole got back-to-back RBI base hits.

The Centennial Bank squad added three runs to its lead in thetop of the fourth inning. This time Harpole and Dillon Thomas had back-to-back RBI base hits. Brian Tillery then hit a hard grounder to second base that was mishandled, resulting in the third run scoring and giving Cabot a 5-1 advantage.

Rail Gilliam made it 6-1 in the fifth inning. He hit a leadoff single and scored on a base hit by Schluter.

The Legends answered with a run in the sixth, and Cabot set the final margin in the top of the seventh with a series of walks and one base hit.

Koletan Eastham drew a leadoff walk and Gilliam got his third base hit of the game. After two-consecutive outs, McCutchen and Harpole drew back-to-back walks, with Harpole’s BB driving in Eastham.

Gilliam’s three hits led the way offensively for Cabot. Harpole went 2 for 4 with a walk and three RBIs.

Schluter pitched all seven innings, giving up just one earned run on six hits with three strikeouts and zero walks.

In the second game on Saturday, Cabot needed nine innings to come from behind and beat the Bulls of Mississippi 4-3. The Bulls led 3-0 after two runs in the first inning and one in the third.

Cabot scored its first run in the top of the sixth inning after a leadoff single by Easton Seidl. Two passed balls moved him to second and then third base, and he scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-1.

Eastham then reached on an E6 to start the seventh inning. McCutchen then singled and Harpole walked to load the bases. Thomas then hit an RBI sacrifice fly to left field, but an error on the throw allowed another run to score and tie the game.

After a scoreless eighth inning, Harpole drew a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth and Thomas was hit by a pitch. Seidl grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice that left him and Harpole on first and third with one out.

Tillery then grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice that scored Harpole and gave Cabot its first lead of the game.

The Bulls loaded the bases with two outs on two hits and an error, but Cabot pitcher Michael Shepherd got a fly ball to left field to secure the win.

Shepherd was masterful in pitching all nine innings for Cabot, getting stronger as the game wore on. He gave up four-straight singles before a walk to start the game, and had given up seven hits through four innings. But he retired the side in order in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings before pitching out of trouble in the ninth for the win.

He gave up nine total hits while striking out five and walking just the one batter in the first inning.

Cabot got another great pitching performance in game three on Sunday, a 5-0 win over the Highlands Reds of Kentucky. Cabot scored twice in the first and three times in the sixth.

McCutchen singled and Harpole walked to put two on with no outs. They were still standing on base with two outs when Gilliam singled to right field to drive both runners in.

In the sixth inning, Crumbly hit a leadoff double and Nicholas Belden drew a walk to start a rally. McCutchen, Harpole and Thomas then got consecutive RBI base hits to set the final margin.

Wilson had a no-hitter going through six innings, but gave up a one-out double in the seventh. He still had to pitch out of trouble a couple of innings thanks to two walks and three Cabot defensive errors. He finished with three strikeouts.

Find out how Cabot finished “The Hagan” in Saturday’s edition of The Leader.