SPORTS>>Community Bank rolls over Maumelle
Leader sports editor
It may seem hard to believe there would be any anxious moments in a 17-3 win, but when Cabot Community Bank fell behind 3-0 after half an inning, head coach Jay Darr admitted to some uneasy moments.
“I didn’t really know because Maumelle had beaten us the first two times,” Darr said. “But once we got it back to 3-3, the kids settled down.”
Settled down and began to mash.
Community Bank answered a 3-run homer by Daniel Short with a 3-run home run by Sam Bates in the bottom of the first to tie it, then scored the game’s final 14 runs to advance to the second round of the Zone 3 Tournament at Burns Park. They took on top-seed North Little Rock last night after Leader deadlines.
Shayne Burgan went 5 for 5 and drove in three runs, Bates added four RBI, and Matt Evans was 3 of 4 with three RBI as Cabot pounded out 16 hits.
“Our kids came out aggressive, hitting the ball well,” Darr said. “We got great pitching … after the first inning. Our lineup, one through nine, is pretty strong.”
Darr said he couldn’t remember another 5-hit performance in his three years in Cabot baseball.
“It helps when you’re sandwiched in between Matt Evans, Drew Burks and Sam Bates,” Darr said. “You’re going to get some pitches to hit.”
Evans settled down after surrendering that first-inning bomb, allowing only two more hits the rest of the way before Andrew Reynolds took over and pitched one-hit scoreless ball for the final two innings.
“When you’re playing 9-inning games in these tournaments, it’s big to get (a run-shortened game),” Darr said. “It was big for us to have someone like Reynolds come out of the bullpen and not give up any runs so we didn’t have to play the full game.”
After falling behind 3-0, Cabot got a one-out single from Burgan and a walk to Burks in the bottom half of the first. Bates then sent his first offering the opposite way over the fence in left-center to tie it.
In the second, Chase Thompson singled, Powell Bryant doubled, Evans singled and Burgan lined a 3-2 pitch for a 2-run single as Community Bank added three more runs to make it 6-3.
They put another 3-spot on the board in the third on three walks, a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly by Bryant and Evans’ RBI double.
Whatever drama remained was erased when Cabot plated eight in the fourth, sending 13 batters to the plate and collecting six hits. Three walks, followed by singles by Thompson and Bryant, a triple by Evans, singles by Burgan and Burks and a double by Bates did all the damage.
It finally came to an end when Ben Wainright, who made the first out of the inning on a line shot to the third baseman, lined out hard to left.
With a possible five more games ahead over the next four days, Darr was able to pull Evans for possible Sunday relief or even a Monday start should Community Bank still be playing.
Reynolds celebrated his 16th birthday by striking out the first three batters he faced and recording four strikeouts in seven batters.
In addition to Burgan’s five hits and Evans’ three, Bates, Thompson and Bryant each recorded two hits. Thompson scored three times.