SPORTS >>Cabot stays alive with easy victory
By RAY BENTON AND JASON KING
Leader sports staff
The Cabot Class A American Legion team staved off elimination from the Zone 2 tournament Friday by beating Morrilton 9-1 and knocking the Cogswell Motors team out of the tournament. Cabot’s Post 71 squad, now 9-6-1, lost its opener to North Little Rock 7-1, but stayed alive Friday and advanced to play at 5 p.m. today against the loser between Conway and Greenbrier.
Anthony Rye went the distance on the mound for Cabot. Rye’s performance was more than enough to hold struggling Morrilton to only one run in the top of the second inning.
“We’ve been shorthanded in the tournament so far,” Cabot coach Jay Darr said. “We only had 10 players yesterday, and nine today. But I told them just now that it’s not who doesn’t show up, but who does shows up. We had a lackluster pre-game, and we got on them some. They came out ready to play after that. They responded more than we expected.”
Rye gave up a hit to start out the game, but recovered to retire three of the next four batters to prevent an early Morrilton score.
Cabot leadoff batter Chase Beasley reached on an error, and advanced to third on a single from two-hole hitter C.J. Jacoby to start the second inning. Cabot tricked its way to the opening score, sending Jacoby to second for a steal, then sending Beasley home when Morrilton catcher Terrance Heaggins took the bait with a throw to second base.
Jacoby scored on a single to left center by Ben Wainwright to make it 2-0, and Wainwright then added the final score of the first when a double into deep left from Ken Harness cleared the way.
Morrilton scored in the next frame with an RBI single by Deuce Kottner to make it 3-1.
It would be as close as Morrilton would get to keeping the game close from that point on.
Cabot added a pair of runs in the third inning from Ben Wainwright and Harness. Wainwright was sent in by a Harness double, and Harness scored with a single down the first base line from Michael Cochran.
Morrilton was outplayed from the start, but didn’t start beating themselves until the bottom of the fifth inning. Up to that point, only two errors had been commited by the Morrilton defense. They would double up and add one before the bottom of the fifth was over, and Cabot took advantage by increasing their lead to eight.
Rye led off the fifth for Cabot by reaching on an error at third base, but was tagged out on a fielder’s choice moments later. Harness got the first actual hit of the inning with a fly into center that was good for a single.
Cabot had runners at first and third, but with two outs hanging over its head. Morrilton had a chance to stop any further runs from Cabot, but an error at the plate on a bunt by Shane Caviness scored Harness, and another error led to runs from Caviness and Tyler Sorrells after a Sorrells’ single brought in Cochran.
Cabot saved its best defensive play for last, turning a 1-5-3 double play to end the game in the top of the seventh inning. Cabot finished with nine runs, 10 hits and two errors. Morrilton had one run, seven hits and five errors.
Cabot will take on either Greenbrier or Conway today at 5 p.m. in a must-win game in order to advance to the semifinals.
In Thursday’s loss, Cabot got the early lead with a single run in the top of the first inning. Beasley on got when his infield grounder to second base was poorly thrown to first. Two sacrifice grounders moved Beasley to third. With two outs, Rye singled to right field to drive in the runner. Another single to right put runners on first and second. A third consecutive two-out single, this one to left field by catcher Travis Dorsey, prompted Rye to try to score, but he was thrown out at home.