Leader Blues

Thursday, July 03, 2008

SPORTS>> Gwatney wins two

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

BENTON — Gwatney Chevrolet swept a doubleheader from Benton on Tuesday night in Saline County.

The junior Chevy boys got a solid performance from starter Tom Sanders in winning the opener, 6-2, while the senior team completed the sweep with a 4-3 win in the nightcap.

The Gwatney juniors jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first, aided by a pair of RBI singles from Alex Tucker and Orlando Roberts.
Ken Cumming singled to start the rally. After Matt McAnally walked, Sanders reached on an error. Tucker and Roberts then came through with base hits.

Benton got a run back in the bottom half, but the Chevy boys pushed another across in the fifth. After Patrick Castleberry was hit with a pitch, Hayden Simpson singled and Jordan Gardner drove in Castleberry with another base hit to make it 4-1.

Gwatney got more insurance in the sixth on consecutive singles by Drew Hampton, Castleberry and Simpson to make it 6-1.

Benton collected only three hits. It left the bases loaded in the first and had two other runners picked off. Catcher Nick
Rodriquez threw out a would-be base stealer in the fourth, and Sanders picked off a runner at first in the first.

Simpson had two of the Chevy boys’ seven hits.

The senior Legion team held on behind a good outing by starter Clayton Fenton. Fenton, following up on his 3-hit shutout in the Wood Bat Tournament last Thursday, suffered some arm soreness during the contest, but got the win.

The game was a see-saw affair, with Gwatney jumping on top with two runs in the second. Jarod Toney singled and scored on Seth Tomboli’s single. Tyler Wisdom and Adam Ussery followed with base hits to make it 2-0.

Benton tied it in the third, but Gwatney recaptured the lead in the fourth on Wisdom’s single, Ussery’s fielder’s choice and Terrell Brown’s double.

Gwatney got what proved to be critical insurance with a run in the sixth that extended its lead to 4-2. Walks to Scott and Brown and a single by Michael Harmon loaded the bases. Cameron Hood delivered a sacrifice fly.

Benton got one back in the sixth, but a double play prevented further damage. Benton then put the tying and winning runs on in the final inning, but couldn’t push either runner across.

Benton finished with nine hits, while Gwatney collected eight, two by Wisdom.