Leader Blues

Friday, June 23, 2006

SPORTS >> Bruins beat Stuttgart in five innings

Leader sports writer

IN SHORT: A big fourth inning for Sylvan Hills turned a close game into a big shutout during the opening round of the Tall Timber Wood Bat Classic at Sheridan Thursday against Stuttgart Ricemen with the help of several errors.

SHERIDAN -- Sylvan Hills got a solid start in the opening round of the Wood Bat Classic on Thursday. The Bruins run-ruled the Ricemen 8-0 in five innings to take the first-round win.

Tony Pavan took the win at the mound for Sylvan Hills, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out three batters. Pavan went all five innings, with a slight slip in the top of the fifth inning that allowed three of Stuttgart’s four total hits.

The game was closely contested until the bottom of the fourth, when the Ricemen’s defense suffered a tremendous meltdown. The Bruins scored five runs in the fourth, followed by two more in the bottom of the fifth to end the contest early under the run-rule.

Pavan sent Stuttgart three-and-out to start the game, getting the third out with a strikeout on Jett Jones. Lead-off SH batter Shawn Bybee started the Bruins’ turn with a double to left field. Bybee made it to third to put a score in position, but Stuttgart pitcher Jones struck out two of the last three batters in the inning to leave him on.

Sylvan Hills continued the solid defense in the second inning, with Pavan ending the Ricemens’ turn on a strikeout to send them four-up and three-down.

The first run of the contest came in the bottom of the second inning for Sylvan Hills. Taylor Roark reached with a walk, and was driven in with an RBI double to deep left from Jarrett Boles. Jones struck out the final two Bruins batters in the inning to stop the scoring after only one run.

Stuttgart posed a serious threat to score in the top of the third inning. With runners at first and third with only one out, Pavan forced pop-ups from Joseph Lockwood and Jones to leave both runners on at the end of the Ricemens’ turn.

The next inning-and-a-half was fairly uneventful, and the bottom of the fourth looked as if it would be as well. Pop ups from Hayden Miller and Roark gave the Bruins two outs to start out the turn, and Boles was struck out by Jones. Catcher Sam Dardeine let the third strike get away from him, and Boles quickly scrambled to first on the passed ball.

An E6 allowed David Simpson to first, and a passed ball during Bybee’s turn allowed both runners to advance.

The frustration for the Ricemen began to show at that point, when catcher Dardeine yelled for the basemen to “Shut up” after third baseman Chris Hooker questioned Dardeine for not making the throw to third after retrieving the ball.

The hard times for Stuttgart only escalated from there. A walk for Bybee loaded the bases, and another passed ball scored Boles. The bases were loaded once again with another walk, this time it was Austin Gwatney that received the free trip to first.

The third walk of the inning scored Simpson for a 3-0 Sylvan Hills’ lead. The only actual hit of the inning came from following batter Chase Elder, a double to deep center that scored three runs to give the Bruins a 6-0 advantage.

Pavan had his worst inning in the top of the fifth, allowing three consecutive hits to load the bases for the Ricemen with only one out.

The strong right-hander showed his maturity on the mound from there, regaining his focus to strikeout Jones for the second out and forcing a pop to third from Brad Holt to leave all three runners on.

Sylvan Hills did not get any hits in the bottom of the fifth, but a series of walks and hit-by-pitches scored the final two runs.
With the bases loaded, relief pitcher Alex Smith walked Grant Garlington to score Roark for the eighth and final run of the contest.

Elder was 1 for 2 with a double and three RBIs. Boles was one for three with a double and a RBI. The Bruins finished with eight runs, four hits and two errors.

Sylvan Hills faced Lakeside yesterday after Leader deadlines, and will play Little Rock Red today at 5 p.m.