Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Bears preserve win with double play

By RAY BENTON Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills Bears picked up a quality nonconference win on Friday, beating Little Rock Central 3-2 at the Sherwood Sports Complex despite getting outhit 9-3.

The Bears scored two runs in their first at-bat and another in the final one for all the offense it would need, thanks to six solid innings on the mound by Blake Maddox and solid defense by the Bears.

Maddox also came through with the game-winning RBI. Lukas Burrow was hit by a pitch to start the sixth inning and advanced to second base on a passed ball. Nathan Thomas then popped up to the catcher for the first out. Burrow advanced to third during Maddox’s at-bat when a pickoff throw from the catcher was off the mark. Maddox then came out swinging at a 3-0 pitch and drove a base hit to right field to score Burrow and set the final margin.

Maddox sat Central down in order to start the game, and the Bears scored two runs on one hit in the bottom of the first. Burrow drew a leadoff walk and Thomas followed suit. A passed ball moved the runners into scoring position, and Maddox hit a sacrifice grounder to score Burrow for the 1-0 lead. After a strikeout, Mackenzie Seats singled to left field to score Thomas.

Central scored on a walk, a single and an error in the third inning, then hit three-straight singles by the four, five and six hitters to start the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and no outs, Maddox struck out the next batter, and then got a pop-up to shallow right field. Nine-hole hitter Cole Weber then hit a line-drive single to left field to drive in the tying run, but Maddox got leadoff hitter Dylan Chilcate to fly out to right to get out of the jam.

Seats pitched the final inning. He fanned Chilcate to start the inning before things got interesting.

Tucker Mann doubled to the wall in center field and Seats hit Jonathan Carruth. But an E4 by Nathan Abraham on the next at-bat turned into good fortune for Sylvan Hills when the Bears got Carruth out at third, then got Mann, who was hung up between third and home, breaking for the plate for a 4-5-2 double play.

Maddox went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and Seats 1 for 2 for all of Sylvan Hills’ base hits.

Maddox gave up eight hits while striking out four and walking one in his six innings on the mound.

Sylvan Hills (11-5, 6-2) will face McClellan at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in a 5A-Central Conference doubleheader at the Sherwood Sports Complex.