SPORTS>>Cabot gets second win over Devils in Classic
Leader sports editor
A few Red Devil mistakes combined with good Panther hitting and a dominant closer resulted in a 7-3 Cabot victory over Jacksonville Monday night in the second round of the First Arkansas Bank and Trust-Red Devils Classic baseball tournament. It was Cabotís second win of the season over the Red Devils, the first being a 6-5 win in the first week of the season.
Cabot improved to 7-2 overall and advance to the tournament championship against the winner between Sylvan Hills and Greenbrier, which took place Tuesday night after Leader deadlines.
Cabot grabbed the lead early with three runs in the top of the second inning. With junior right-hander Jon-athan Parker on the mound, Cabot kept Jacksonville scoreless for the first two innings while it built a small lead. The three runs in the second came on just one hit. Shayne Burgan started the inning by drawing a walk. He was moved to second base by Justin Freeís sacrifice bunt. Logan Lucas then walked and Daryle Murphy was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out.
Nine-hole hitter Corey Wade then roped a single to left field to drive in Burgan and Lucas and give Cabot a 2-0 lead with one out. Powell Bryant then hit a fly ball deep enough to centerfield to score Murphy from third base.
Jacksonville went down in order in the bottom of the second, but Jacksonville sophomore pitcher Tommy Sanders did the same to Cabot in the top of the third. The Red Devils got back into in the bottom of the third. Jacksonville nine-hole hitter Tirrell Brown scorched a line drive off the scoreboard in left on the first pitch of the inning to make it 3-1. Bryant retired the next two batters, but walked Cameron Hood with two outs. Hood reached second base on a wild pitch, stole third and scored when catcher Colin Fullerís throw was low and off-target and rolled into left field.
Cabot went back up by three with two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Murphy singled with one out. Two batters later, Bryant singled to left field to score Murphyís pinch runner #55. There left fielder Seth Tomboli let the ball get past him which allowed Bryant to advance all the way to third base.
Drew Burks then hit a one-hopper back to Sanders, but the right-hander mishandled it, allowing Bryant to score and leaving Burks safe at first. Sam Bates and Fuller then hit back-to-back singles, but things got confusing on Fullerís hit, which ultimately ended the inning.
Fullerís single to left field was also misplayed by Tomboli and rolled past him. Bates spotted the error from second base, and the shortstop took off for third. Burks, however, didnít see it and stayed at third base. Bates ran past Burks on the base paths, which resulted in Bates being called out, but the umpires didnít make the call until many other things, including an apparent Panther run, took place.
Bates standing on third forced Burks to run home. Throw to catcher Zach Thomas easily beat the Cabot first baseman to the plate, but was high and over Thomasí head. It also gave Fuller time to advance to second base before the bizarre play ended.
Once it ended, the two umpires consulted with each other, and declared Bates out on the base paths, negating the run scored by Burks. Cabot still ened the inning with a 5-2 lead, but that shrank to 5-2 when Jacksonville scored in the bottom of the fourth without a hit.
Parker hit Tomboli to start the inning and end his night on the mound. Cabot went with senior southpaw Justin Haas in relief. Haas walked the first batter he faced, Ricky Tomboli, on four pitches, but was nothing less than dominant from that point.
Brown sacrificed the Tombolis up a base. Seth then scored on a passed ball to make 5-3.
Cabot added two more in the fifth on three singles by Burgan, Lucas and Murphy. Haas did the rest. He fanned the side in order in the bottom of the fifth, struck out two more in the sixth and retired the side in order again to close the game.
After walking Ricky Tomboli to start his relieft duty, Haas finished with 12 straight put outs, including six strikeouts.
Parker wasnít bad in his starting role. He three innings, giving up one earned run on three hits, with a strikeout and four walks.
Mattison, Brown and Sanders got the hits for Jacksonville. Sanders pitched five innings, giving up seven hits and striking out three.
Murphy went 2 for 3 with an RBI andtwo runs scored. Wade and Bryant each went 1 for 4 with two RBIs. Bates, Fuller, Burgan and Lucas each picked up a hit for the Panthers. Cabot will play at 6 p.m. Thursday in the tournament title game.