SPORTS >> Cabot wins in strong opener
Leader sports writer
IN SHORT: Home Depot American Legion team defeats Bryant 6-1 in Cabot’s home opener on Wednesday night.
The Cabot AAA Home Depot team started out its 2006 American Legion campaign strong with a 6-1 win over the Bryant Black-sox Wednesday night at the Conrade Sports Complex in Cabot. Cabot did most of its damage early on, scoring four runs in the opening inning before adding its final two the following inning.
Justin Haas got the win at the mound for Cabot, allowing only two hits and one walk in four innings before being relieved by Colin Fuller for the remainder. Fuller started out a little shaky, allowing two hits and a walk right away before a fielding error scored the only Bryant run of the night. The big right hander settled down after that, only allowing one more hit in the final two innings while striking out three.
“We’ve got a lineup that can score runs quick,” first-year Cabot coach Andy Runyan said. “My only complaint is that we came out hot and scored six runs, then we just kind of sat on those six runs for the rest of the game. We knew our starter wouldn’t go all the way this early in the season, but I thought Haas did a good job for the four innings he threw and Colin did a good job in his three.”
Members of American Legion Post 71 were on hand for the opening ceremonies, and post commander Doug George threw out the opening pitch to kick off the season.
Haas sent Bryant three and out to start off the game, forcing two pop ups to right field and a pop up to left.
Cabot then proceeded to go through its entire lineup in the bottom of the first.
Lead off batter Corey Wade reached first courtesy of a walk from starting Bryant pitcher Tanner Zuber, but was out at second one batter later when Drew Burks hit into a fielder’s choice.
A single to left field from Fuller advanced Burks to third, and he scored shortly thereafter on a passed ball at the plate.
Chriss Gross joined Fuller on the diamond with another walk from Zuber, and an RBI double to deep center from Sam Bates sent Fuller home and Gross to third.
A third walk for Daryl Murphy loaded the bases for Cabot before a grounder down the first-base line from Shane Burgan scored Gross and Bates.
Zuber finally got the third out of the inning with a strikeout on Logan Lucas, but Cabot already had everything it needed to seal the win.
Cabot added two more runs in the bottom of the second, starting with Wade reaching on an error. Wade stole second while Fuller was at the plate, and an RBI ground-rule double for Fuller drove Wade in. Bates came away with a double to score Fuller, giving Cabot a 6-0 lead after two.
Bryant scored its only run of the game in the top of the fifth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Justin Wells hit into a fielder’s choice. Cabot shortstop Bates made the toss to second baseman Justin Free, but Free was not able to come up with it in time to make the out, allowing Ryan Wilson to score. The run would set the final margin of the game at 6-1.
Bryant made its second pitching change of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Alex Kehrees replaced first relief pitcher Aarron Davidson after Davidson replaced Zuber in the bottom of the third inning, and closed out the game with two strikeouts and forcing a pop-up to second base from Fuller.
Cabot finished the game with six runs, six hits and two errors. Bryant had one run, five hits and three errors in the contest.
Sam Bates was 2 for 3 for Cabot with two doubles and two RBIs. Colin Fuller finished 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI.
Cabot will travel to Stuttgart on Saturday for a AAA double- header starting at 1 p.m.