Leader Blues

Thursday, July 20, 2006

SPORTS>> Cabot falls to Maumelle in seventh

By JASON KING
Leader Sportswriter

Home Depot suffered its most disappointing loss of the season at Maumelle on Friday. Cabot led until the final inning, when a pair of Maum-elle runs stole the win away 8-7. It was Cabot’s second loss in the bottom of the final inning in two weeks. The Panthers fell in similar fashion at Russellville just over a week ago.

The game was originally scheduled as a twin bill, but was changed to a single seven-inning game. As a warm up for the upcoming American Legion Class AAA zone tournament, Cabot used four different pitchers throughout the game. Ace pitcher Justin Haas threw the first three innings, but a high pitch count prompted coach Andy Runyan to pull the lefty after 85 pitches.

Sean Clarkson took the mound for the fourth and fifth innings, followed by Chad Bryant in the sixth inning. Colin Fuller closed the game out for Cabot, taking the loss with the last-chance runs from Maumelle.
“I knew from the outset that if Haas-man had too many pitches, we were going to pull him, regardless,” Runyan said.
“He settled down and really got in the groove, but with the zone coming up, we didn’t want to cut our nose off to spite our face.”

The Home Depot boys struck early offensively, warming up with a single run in the opening inning before assaulting starting Maumelle hurler Drew Smiley in the second.

Cabot came away with six runs in the second frame for a comfortable 7-1 lead, but relief pitcher Mike Shaddock would prove much tougher.

Shaddock came in for the third inning, shutting Home Depot out for the remainder of the game.

Maumelle slowly ate away at Cabot’s lead up to the seventh inning. With the score tied 7-7 and bases loaded for Maumelle with two outs, a simple fielding error allowed the game winning run for Maumelle.

“My guy was kind of down about it after the game, but I told him there were plenty of other opportunities for the game to have been won or lost besides that one,” Runyan said.

“This was without a doubt our toughest loss all year. It’s been a rough year on all of us, but we thought if we could get a win against Maumelle, along with our wins against Bryant and Pine Bluff, we would have something to hang our hats on that no one else in the state had.”

Home Depot will wrap up its season schedule tonight at home with a nine-inning matchup against Searcy. They will then begin zone bracket play on Thursday as the No. 6 seed with an opening round game against No. 3 seed Sylvan Hills.
The winner of that game will face top-seeded and tournament host North Little Rock on Friday at Vince De Salvo Stadium in Burns Park.