Friday, May 01, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers shut out 7A Tigers

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Panthers got a gem on the mound from senior Gavin Tillery and picked up a big 7A/6A-East Conference win, beating Little Rock Central 6-0 Wednesday at Brian Wade Conrade Field.

Tillery gave up just three hits in the complete-game shutout, striking out three and walking two.

Cabot’s five, six and seven hitters LandonJames, Easton Seidl and Evan Hooper each went 2 for 3, picking up six of Cabot’s 11 base hits.

Cabot got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning. Catcher Denver Mullins hit a one-out single to center field and was replaced by courtesy runner Brandon Jarnigan. Two batters later, James tripled to the wall in center to score Jarnigan.

The Panthers scored another run in the second inning on a triple by Hooper and a sacrifice grounder by Jake Slunder.

In the third inning, Cabot recorded two quick outs before putting together a two-run rally. It started with back-to-back doubles by Tristan Bulice and James, with James driving in Bulice. Seidl then singled to score James and put Cabot up 4-0.

The Panthers made it four innings in a row with a run scored in the fourth. It started with an infield single by Hooper, followed by an error at second base off the bat of Slunder. Hooper advanced to third on the miscue and scored on a sac fly by Ethan Smith.

Central finally got out of an inning without allowing a run in the fifth, and Cabot set the final margin in the sixth. Seidl led off the inning with a single to center field. Slunder walked and Lee Sullivan hit a two-out, RBI single to drive in the run.

The win lifts Cabot to 13-7 overall and 8-3 in conference play, but more importantly, it makes the Panthers 3-0 against 7A teams in the conference, which are the only games that matter under this year’s rules.

The Panthers traveled to Central last night after Leader deadlines. They will play a nonconference game against Catholic on Monday, then host West Memphis on Tuesday in another crucial clash of 7A conference teams.