Leader Blues

Friday, July 07, 2006

SPORTS >> Double-dip split for Cabot and Conway

BY JASON KING
Leader staff writer

IN SHORT: The Home Depot team shared a pair of games with Conway Wednesday night at Wade Field.

Home Depot split with Conway in a Class AA American Legion doubleheader Wednesday night at the Conrad Sports Complex. The Wampus Cats controlled the opener, taking a 7-3 win over Cabot after shutting them out until the sixth inning.

Cabot recovered nicely for the nightcap, dominating Conway in a 9-1 rout. Home Depot took advantage of nine walks and three errors from the Wampus Cats in game two, while managing six hits through six innings in the run-ruled contest.

The Wampus Cats got off to a blistering start at the plate in the opener. Dustin Hoover scored from the two-hole slot off a RBI from Zach Cates. Landon McClain reached the plate courtesy of a Jordan Leach RBI, and Cates brought the final run of the turn home by tagging up on a sacrifice fly from James Murphy to give Conway a 3-0 lead after the top of the first inning.

The score remained 3-0 until the top of the fourth inning, when the Wampus Cats added three more runs off of starting pitcher Sean Clarkson. Clarkson was relieved by Sam Bates at that point, but not before Conway had mounted a comfortable 6-0 lead.

Home Depot had a small rally in the bottom of the sixth inning. Conway replaced starting pitcher Ronnie Grace with B.J. Lowe to start off the inning, and Lowe forced pop ups from Daryl Murphy and Logan Lucas for two quick outs.

Corey Wade prevented a three-and-out situation for Cabot with a single to left field. Shane Burgan followed that with a single to center, and Colin Fuller was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

A shot down the third base line from Drew Burks drove in Wade and Burgan. A standoff at second between Burks and Conway second baseman Grace shortly afterward allowed Fuller home for the third and final Cabot run of the game.

Josh Whitehurst added one more run for Conway in the top of the seventh with help from a Mitch Ferrell double to set the final margin.

Cabot refused to go down quietly, loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Home Depot needed a big hit from Burgan in order for the game to continue, but fresh Conway pitcher James Murphy forced a pop up from Burgan to end the game with runners at all bases.

Although they lost the opener, Home Depot was able to carry its late-game momentum into the second game. The game was tied 1-1 until the bottom of the third inning, when Cabot went through its entire line up to score four runs.

The only actual hit of the inning came from leadoff batter Burks. Burks grounded to center, followed by walks for fuller and Bates to load the bases with no outs. Blake Passmore then hit into a fielderís choice at shortstop, but Burks beat the throw to the plate for the score. A sacrifice fly from Lucas allowed Fuller to tag up for the next run, and an E6 on another fielderís choice hit from Murphy scored Bates to make it 4-1 Cabot.

Passmore added the final run of the inning for Home Depot when Conway left fielder Josh Whitehurst was unable to come up with a pop fly from Tyler Sorrells. Cabot came out of the inning with a 5-1 lead over the Wampus Cats, and would only add to that lead as the game progressed.

Fuller scored off a Lucas hit in the bottom of the fourth to extend the lead, and a series of walks for substitute batters in the bottom of the sixth scored the final three runs needed to put the game in run-rule status for Cabot.

Home Depot finished the evening with three runs, three hits and two errors in game one, and nine runs, six hits and two errors in game two. Conway had seven runs, 13 hits and two errors in game one, and one run, four hits and three errors in game two.

Lucas was 1 for 3 for Cabot in game two with two RBIs. Sorrells was 1 for 2 with a RBI. The split moves Home Depotís record to 12-15 for the season. Cabot played at Russellville last night after Leader deadlines, and will play a Class AA doubleheader at Vilonia today starting at 1p.m.