Leader Blues

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

SPORTS>>Gwatney A defeats Cabot

By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor

Gwatney Chevrolet’s Class A American Legion team got its third consecutive win Monday night, beating Cabot American Legion Post 71 5-4 at Dupree Park.

Jacksonville led 5-2 heading into the final inning and held off a Cabot rally to seal the win.

Jacksonville starting pitcher Jason Regnas threw six innings before yielding to Clayton Fenton in the seventh. Fenton started off in some trouble, but pitched through the crisis to get the save.

Cabot’s Ken Harness led off the seventh with a double to left before Fenton struck out Shane Cavaress. CJ Jacoby walked and leadoff hitter Matt Williams hit into a 6-4 fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners. Nick Ackett then reached on an error at second base that also scored Harness. Ben Wainwright singled to centerfield to drive in Jacoby, pulling Cabot to within one run and loading the bases.

Fenton and Cabot’s Josh Brown battled through a long at bat, but Fenton ultimately got the last word when he forced Brown into a routine grounder to second base to seal the win.

Regnas gave up four hits in six innings. One was the opening at bat of the game, the other three were in the third inning. He didn’t allow a hit in the final three innings he pitched.

“I thought Jason Regnas had an outstanding night,” Jacksonville A coach Travis Lyda said. “He was calm, he hit his spots and he didn’t get flustered when they rallied on him a little bit. He gathered himself and shut them down.”

Gwatney led from the starting gates with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tyler Wisdom walked and Terrell Brown was hit by a pitch to start things off for the host team. Regnas then reached on an error on the mound that scored the two base runners.

With one out, Seth Tomboli got a sacrifice grounder that drove in Regnas and put Gwatney up 3-0.

It quickly went to 4-0 in the second inning when singles by A.J. Allen, Jordan Gardner and Wisdom garnered another run, but a pitching change to the southpaw Jacoby began to slow the Gwatney bats.

Jacksonville got just four more hits the rest of the night, but all four were for extra bases and brought across the one run needed to hold on for the win.

Cabot began to touch Regnas in the third inning and cut Jacksonville’s lead in half, but the Gwatney southpaw settled down and regained control of the game the rest of the way.

Cavaress singled to lead off the inning before Jacoby and Williams flew out, Ackett then singled to center and Wainwright got a two-RBI double off the wall in left field to drive in the two runners. That was the last base hit allowed by Regnas, who went through the fourth, fifth and sixth innings giving up just two walks.

Gwatney went up 5-2 in the fourth inning. Gardner got a one-out double with a grounder ball to left field just inside the third base line. Two batters later and with two outs, Brown doubled to left to score Gardner.

Daniel Thurman and Jeffrey Tillman added doubles to Jacksonville’s to complete Jacksonville’s hit total.

Jacksonville got two earned runs off seven base hits while Cabot got two earned off six base hits.

Gardner was the only Gwatney player with multiple hits. He went 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored.

“I was so happy to see Jordan Gardner break out like that,” Lyda said. “I’ve got guys that are wanting playing time, so I’m trying to give it to them. I tell them that when you get your chance, you need to produce, and Jordan produced for us.”
Jacksonville, who is now 7-6 on the season, faced Sheridan last night after Leader deadlines. The team will travel to North Little Rock Thursday for an A-AAA doubleheader.

Cabot fell to ?? and will host a single game at 7 p.m. tonight against Maumelle.