Leader Blues

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

SPORTS >> Gwatney routs Maumelle

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

The good news is Gwatney Chevrolet’s senior Chevy Boys improved to 2-0 against Maumelle after their 9-0 rout at Dupree Park on Monday night.

The bad news is they haven’t beaten anyone else yet.

Gwatney raised its record to 2-6 behind Clayton Fenton’s one-hitter in the five-inning affair. Fenton allowed only three base runners on a walk, a hit batter and a one-out single in the first inning. Fenton was dominant, at one point setting down 12 straight batters. He fanned four.

The Chevy Boys, who collected nine hits in their four at-bats, didn’t need any help from Maumelle defensively, but Maumelle provided some anyway in the form of three walks, two hit batters and four errors.

Gwatney went down quietly in the first and didn’t get its first base runner until Seth Tomboli laced a one-out double to the fence in right center in the second inning. Devon McClure, who is proving more and more an offensive weapon for both the junior and senior teams, lined a two-out single over second to stake the Chevy Boys to a 1-0 lead.

Fenton helped himself in the third by leading off with an infield single and Terrell Brown reached on an error. Jason Regnas couldn’t get the sacrifice down and Patrick Castleberry flied out to deep right. But Tommy Sanders delivered another two-out RBI single to score Fenton and make it 2-0. Brown later came across on a wild pitch.

Fenton kept mowing them down, aided by shortstop Terrell Brown’s nifty backhand snag and long throw across from deep in the hole to end the fourth.

Gwatney put it away in the bottom of the fourth when it sent 11 men to the plate. Daniel Thurman beat out an infield hit and Brown’s to straightaway center made it 4-0. Though there were two outs in the inning, Maumelle could not end it as the next seven Chevy Boys reached safely. Castleberry brought home Brown with an infield hit and Sanders drew a walk.

Tomboli lined a single down the line in left to plate another and A.J. Allen followed with a single to load the bases. McClure walked to force home Sanders and Thurman was hit with a pitch to score Tomboli. Allen made it 9-0 on a wild pitch.

Tomboli led Gwatney’s nine-hit attack with a single and a double, scoring twice. McClure had a pair of RBI and Brown scored twice.

Gwatney played at Bryant last night after Leader deadlines.

MAUMELLE JUNIOR 6, GWATNEY 4

The Jacksonville junior Chevy Boys lost a game they probably had no business losing on Monday. Blame it on the fact that five of their starters spent much of the day at a baseball camp, eight walks issued by Gwatney pitching and nine stranded base runners.

But the Chevy Boys really should have won this one against a mostly over-matched Maumelle club whose first two pitchers probably never cracked the 70 mile-per-hour mark on the radar gun.

Maumelle got only two hits, but one of those was a crusher. After Gwatney starter Michael Lamb walked three straight batters with one out in the first inning, Maumelle’s five-hole hitter belted a grand slam over the fence in left for a quick 4-0 lead. The next batter picked up Maumelle’s only other hit of the contest.

Even then, it appeared Gwatney would recover when the Chevy Boys began teeing off on Maumelle’s juicy offerings. Even Jacob Abrahamson’s first out leading off the first inning was a long one and required a falling-down catch near the fence in deep left-center. McClure followed with a double and Castleberry walked. Nick Rodriguez made it 4-1 with an RBI single to left and
Alex Tucker’s two-out single cut the lead in half. But Gwatney left the bases full.

Abrahamson, who made a nice back-to-the-infield catch of a pop up in the first inning, saved a run in the second when he went behind the bag at second to snag a hard grounder and end the inning.

Gwatney got within a run on Abrahamson’s single and Castleberry’s run-scoring double in the second. But two walks and a double steal made it 5-3 in the top of the third.

Despite the fat deliveries by Maumelle pitchers, Gwatney collected only one more hit after Castleberry’s double when Tucker looped a single in the third. But the Chevy Boys left the tying runs at second and third, then went 1-2-3 in the fourth.

An unearned run in the fifth extended Maumelle’s lead to 6-3, but Gwatney appeared poised for a comeback when it loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half on two walks and a hit batter.

But pinch hitter Orlando Rogers hit a soft liner to the pitcher, who threw to first to double off Zach Traylor and the threat fizzled. Gwatney took advantage of two errors to place its first two batters on in the sixth. McClure then laced a liner but right to the left fielder. Castleberry flied out and Rodriguez grounded to short to end it.

Lamb fanned six but walked eight. Five of the runs he surrendered were earned on just two hits.

Tucker led Gwatney with two of the team’s six hits. Gwatney returned to action last night in a game played after Leader deadlines at Bryant.