Leader Blues

Friday, June 26, 2009

SPORTS >> Cabot runs streak to 6

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

The bats of Cabot Centennial Bank went completely silent from the fourth inning on, but fortunately for them, those same bats made a bunch of noise early.

Though Centennial Bank had only one base runner after the third inning, a five-run second proved more than enough for a 6-2 victory over North Little Rock at Burns Park on Thursday night.

Cole Nicholson tossed a five-hitter and struck out 10 as Cabot rolled to its sixth consecutive win. The streak follows a four-game losing skid and improved Centennial Bank to 10-6 on the season.

After going quietly in the first, Cabot sent nine batters to the plate in the second and took advantage of three Colt errors. Matt Turner got things started with a solid single back through the box and Powell Bryant was hit with a pitch. Ben Wainwright delivered Turner with a line single and Tyler Ericksonís base hit loaded the bases.

A wild pitch scored Bryant and advanced Wainwright to third. Chase Thompson dropped a looping single into right to plate Wainwright and make it 3-0. With two outs, Andrew Reynolds singled to right to score Erickson and Thompson.

With Nicholson carrying a 1.33 ERA into the contest, that 5-0 lead appeared more than sufficient, but for good measure Cabot tacked on a run in the third. Turner tripled over the center fielder to lead things off and came across when Brandon Surdam reached on an error. Tyler Erickson walked and it began to look like a mercy rule was imminent. But only one of Cabotís final 13 batters reached base and Drew Burks was erased on a double play after drawing a leadoff walk in the sixth.

Nicholson was cruising along with a one-hitter before allowing a walk and a single with one out in the fourth. A double steal put both runners in scoring position, but Nicholson got his fifth and sixth strikeouts to end the threat.

But after beginning the fifth inning with his seventh strikeout, Nicholson ran into his only trouble of the night, allowing a single and a walk. With two outs, Andrew Hahn ripped a two-run double down the line in left. But Nicholson retired seven of the final batters he faced for his third win of the season.

Cabot finished with six hits ó five in the second inning. Turner had two of those and scored twice while Reynolds drove in a pair of runs with a base hit. Leading hitter Sam Bates did not play on Thursday and Burks, who had just returned from the high school All Star game in Fayetteville, didnít start.

Cabot played error-free in the field, while North Little Rock committed four errors.

Cabot travels to Maumelle today.

NLR JUNIORS 7,
CABOT 2


Chad Wisely was mowing them down early on Thursday night, retiring 10 of the first 11 batters he faced. But the Colts tied the game in the fourth, took a one-run lead in the fifth and blew it open with a four-run sixth before the game was called for time.

A walk to Bryson Morris, a base hit by Justin Goff and RBI singles by Nathan Cash and Tyler Carter put Cabot up 2-0 in the first, but Cash and Carter were stranded and Centennial Bank got only two base runners past first base the rest of the way.

Wisely pitched around a two-out walk in the first, then got some defensive help with a nice charge and throw by shortstop Tyler Cole in the second. Cabot wasted a golden opportunity in the second after Taylor Barnhill tripled to right leading things off. With one out Brandon Surdam walked, but Morris hit a bouncer to the shortstop near second base and he turned it into a 6-3 double play.

Cabot also wasted a leadoff single by Goff in the third and leadoff walks in the fourth and sixth innings. Cabot hit into three double plays.

Wisely set down eight in a row before surrendering back-to-back singles with one out in the fourth. Two walks forced home a run and another came in when Cabot failed to execute a rundown on a runner caught off third base. Wisely pitched out of further damage, recording a pop out and a ground out, but the Colts had knotted it at 2.

An infield single, a bunt single and a walk loaded the bases and ended the day for Wisely. Reliever Jordan Lyons did a good job in retiring the three he faced in the inning, but a sacrifice fly gave the Colts the lead.

They scored four times on three hits and two walks in the sixth.

Cabot managed six hits, two by Goff. Wisely allowed four hits, four walks and three earned runs and took the loss.