SPORTS >> Bruins handle Gwatney in AAA Legion matchup
Leader staff writer
IN SHORT: The Sylvan Hills AAA team won its second game of the year over Jacksonville Monday night, beating the Gwatney Chevy Boys 16-5 at Dupree Park in Jacksonville.
Gwatney and Sylvan Hills faced off in a Class A and Class AAA Legion doubleheader at Dupree Park Monday night. The Chevy boys took the A game 6-1, but the Bruins rolled in the AAA affair, blasting an unsuspecting Jacksonville team 16-5.
The Bruins got off to a rapid start, scoring four unearned runs off Gwatney errors in the top of the first. They added three more earned runs in the top of the second, until the Jacksonville defense started to make a stand in the third inning.
Gwatney looked like they had gathered it together in the top of the third, with starting pitcher Trey Smith sending SH three-and-out with two F8 pop-ups and a strikeout.
The four-and three-run innings for the Bruins in the top two were only a sign of things to come in the top of the fourth, when Sylvan Hills went through 13 at-bats while scoring nine runs on two hits and five Gwatney errors to take an overwhelming 16-2 lead.
Jacksonville had its best moment at the plate in the bottom of the third, closing the Bruins’ lead to 7-2.
After the Bruins’ spirit-deflating run in the fourth, the final inning was essentially a batting practice for both teams’ substitutes until the run-rule was activated.
advantage of seven unforced Jacksonville errors in the contest. Tony Pavan took the win for the Bruins from the mound, giving up five hits and five walks to Gwatney, and striking out four.
The most significant fact about Pavan’s performance on Monday was that he still looked relatively fresh after four innings, struggling slightly in the fifth before putting it away and going the distance.
Ross Bogard started off the second inning for the Bruins with a solo home run over the left-field wall. Two batters later, Austin Gwatney sent it over the right field wall to improve Sylvan Hills’ lead to 6-0.
One more run was added in the top of the second with an RBI double to deep centerfield from Ritchie Irvan that scored Ashur Toliver, who had reached just before Irvan with a single to left.
Jacksonville finally got on the scoreboard late in the second inning when Tyler Uptergrove made it in off a fielder’s choice shot to shortstop from Josh Mansfield.
The Chevy boys managed another run in the third with an RBI double from Uptergrove that scored Kyle West. The pair of runs brought them to within five points at 7-2, but the fourth inning would get as ugly as they come for Jacksonville fans.
Jacksonville went through a pitcher change and gave up five runs on three errors and two hits before capturing its first out of the inning in the top of the fourth. Two more fielding errors were committed before the end of the Bruins’ turn, allowing four more runs for SH before a strikeout on Irvan ended the painful frame for Gwatney.
Jacksonville did manage three more runs in the bottom of the fifth on a slightly fading Pavan, but the Bruins starter finally closed the deal after eight Chevy batters. Pavan walked the first two batters of the inning, before giving up a third walk four batters later to face bases loaded.
Cary Wright RBI’d to center to score the first run, followed by a shot to third from Neil Hatcher that resulted in the only Bruins’ error in the entire contest to score two more and set the final margin at 16-5.
Austin Gwatney was 2 for 2 with a home run and reached twice on errors. Irvan was 2 for 3 with two doubles. Nathan Van Schoyck was 2 for 3 with a double and Bogard was 1 for 3 with a home run.
For Jacksonville, Uptergrove was 2 for 2 with a double and West was 2 for 3 with a pair of singles. Gwatney finished with five total hits.
Seth Tombolli started at the mound for Jacksonville in the Class A game, throwing until the top of the fourth when Clayton Fenton came in to relieve him.
A solo home run for Ross Bogard in the top of the second inning was the only Bruins’ score in the game, with Gwatney scoring four in the bottom of the fourth, and adding the final two runs in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI double to center from Tombolli that brought in Adrian Baker and Terrell Brown.
Jacksonville Class A will play at Maumelle today, with both A and AAA back in action at home against Benton on Thursday starting at 6 p.m. Sylvan Hills will face NLR at Burns park on Wednesday night in a Class A and Class AAA double header. The Bruins played a Class AAA game against Cabot Tuesday after Leader deadlines.
The Bruins finished with nine total hits in the game, and also took