Leader Blues

Monday, July 23, 2007

SPORTS>>Blacksox rally late to defeat Post 71

By JASON KING
Leader sportwriter

Post 71 was looking to rebound from a loss the night before at Sylvan Hills, but instead suffered a 10-2 loss at the hands of the Blacksox Tuesday night in Bryant. Cabot used the game primarily as a prep game for next week’s zone tournament in North Little Rock, going from almost top to bottom in the pitching depth chart.

Five different Cabot hurlers took to the mound in the game, leaving only Sean Clarkson and ace Colin Fuller, who pitched an entire game against Sylvan Hills the night before, out of the throwing mix. Jon Parker started for Post 71 at position one, but soon gave way to Chad Bryant.

Lefty Justin Haas relieved Bryant, and soon Sam Bates and Josh Brown would have their turns at the Bryant batters before game’s end.

“We wanted everyone to get some work in before we start the zone tournament,” Cabot coach Andy Runyan said. “We wanted to do it to where nobody had a high pitch count going into the tournament, but everyone had some on-mound experience. The kids knew going in that we were going to throw a bunch of guys.”

Cabot went three up and three down in the top of the first inning, but Bryant put a score up in the bottom of the first inning on a RBI single from Aaron Davidson that scored lead off batter Joey Winiecki, who reached on a walk from Parker.
Post 71 did all of their offensive damage in the top of the second inning. Sam Bates set up the first score when he reached on a walk, and advanced to third base on a single by Jon Parker.

Justin Free sent in Bates on a double, and Parker advanced to third to put the second score in position. That score would plate when JacksonChism singled for the second, and what would turn out to be the final RBI of the contest for Cabot.
Bryant tied the game in the bottom of the second inning when Alex Kehrees singled to score Ryan Wilson. Wilson set up the tying run on a single before Kehrees’ hit sent sent him across the plate. That would make the score 2-2 heading into the third inning.

Cabot’s bats fell silent from the third inning on, but Bryant’s were just getting warmed up. The Blacksox took advantage of the revolving door at the Cabot mound with what became the winning run inthe bottom of the fourth inning. Winiecki once again scored for Bryant, this time coming in on a single from Jake Jackson after reaching on a single of his own and stealing his way to second base.

The game remained close until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Bryant went on a five-run spree that would put Cabot out of contention.

With the zone tournament a little over a week away, Runyan is not certain how the tournament seeding will fall into place. Cabot could be seeded as high as third or as low as fifth, depending on how the final week of zone games pan out. Regardless of seed, Runyan says he wants to do everything possible to have his kids ready.

“We’re just making sure that our pitching is where it needs to be,” Runyan said. “Everyone is healthy, so we’re okay there. We’ve had some wins that were pretty invaluable to us recently, hopefully we can carry some of that into the tournament.”