Leader Blues

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

SPORTS>>Bruins end skid, beat hot Post 71

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

The Sylvan Hills American Legion Class AAA team snapped a three-game losing streak on Monday with a 6-4 win over Cabot at Kevin McReynolds field in Sherwood. The Bruins controlled the early part of the game, rushing out to a 6-0 lead by the bottom of the fourth inning, but soon found themselves trying to hold off a furious Cabot rally in the gameís latter stages.
Both teams actually had different opponents listed on their schedules, but the Zone 3 matchup postponed from last week due to bad weather took precedent. Post 71 was coming off a big win on Saturday, in which they made up a 7-3 deficit to beat Blytheville, while Sylvan Hills was trying to bounce back from a pair of losses in Ft. Smith over the weekend.

Cabot came closer to making it two comeback wins in a row than Sylvan Hills would have liked. Starting Bruins pitcher Blaine Sims handled the Cabot sticks fairly easily in the early going, but struggled to put them away. Cabotís Colin Fuller had the converse of Simsí night, giving up six runs through the second and fourth innings before shutting Sylvan Hills down in its final two turns at the plate. Both hurlers went the distance, with Sims taking the win for Sylvan Hills.

Both teams landed runners on base in the opening inning, but left them stranded. Taylor Roark made it to third in the bottom of the first, but Cabot turned a double play when designated hitter Jarrett Boles hit to Bruins third baseman Nathan Eller for the 5-4-3 inning-ender.

Sylvan Hills would close the deal on a run in the bottom of the second inning with a bunt by Tony Pavan that plated Ryan Wood. Nathan Eller then sent in brother Garrett with an RBI that landed him out at first, but the throw to second on Pavan for out number three was too late, and the Bruins went up 2-0 at the end of two.

Sims retired three straight to start the third inning, including a pair of strikeouts on Fuller and Shayne Burgan. Ross Bogard got a single off Fuller on the bottom side of the third, but the Cabot ace forced a groundout and a pop up to leave him stranded.

The bottom of the fourth inning turned out to be the difference-maker on the evening, as the Bruins cashed in four runs to take a 6-0 lead. Wood started off the inning with a single, followed by a hit to left field for Garrett Eller. Pavan grounded out for the first out, and Fuller struck out Nathan Eller, but the ball got away from Cabot catcher Burgan, and Eller made it safely to first on the passed ball.

That would simultaneously score Wood, and a second passed ball plated Garrett Eller for a 4-0 Bruins lead. Nathan Eller would then score on a bizarre Taylor Roark hit in which the ball ricoched off the side of the bag at first and headed towards second. Cabot turned it for an out on Roark, but not before Eller made it in for run number five. Matt Rugger, Bogard and Boles then rolled off three consecutive hits for Sylvan Hills, with Bolesí shot into center scoring Rugger for what would turn out to be the final Bruins score of the contest.

Post 71 was not far from falling victim to a SH run-rule heading into the fifth inning, but finally found a way to put points of their own on the scoreboard. Jeremy Wilson led off with a walk for Cabot, and Jackson Chism singled to send him to second. Chism would be out moments later when Fuller hit into a fielderís choice, but Wilson made it in for the first Cabot score.
Burgan and Drew Burks got back-to-back hits to set up the next score, as Fuller crossed the plate on Burksí smack to right centerfield. A single by Jeremy Brown loaded the bases with only one out. Burgan tagged up on a pop up by Ben Wainwright, and an unassisted play at third on a Chad Bryant grounder left the score at 6-3 entering the bottom of the fifth.

Sean Clarkson put a run on the board for Cabot in the top of the sixth inning on a RBI by Fuller, but it would be as close as Post 71 would come. The Sylvan Hills defense gave up only a walk in the top of the seventh while Sims forced a pair of pop ups and a play at second to secure the win.

Cabot will play at Bryant on Wednesday, while Sylvan Hills will take on Jacksonville at Dupree Park Thursday.