Leader Blues

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

SPORTS >> Gwatney pounds Cougars

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

Gwatney Chevrolet junior Legion’s dominance on Monday night can be summed up by a couple of stats: The first four batters in the lineup reached safely in all 12 of their plate appearances. Nine times, they crossed home plate.

The result was a quick and merciful 11-2, 5-inning rout of the Conway Cougars at Dupree Park.

The Chevy Boys needed only seven hits to produce those 11 runs and six of those came from their leadoff and three-hole hitter. Patrick Castleberry belted a triple and two doubles and drove in five runs in his three plate appearances, while Jacob
Abrahamson added a single, a double and a triple, drove in one and scored three times in his.

That was more than enough for Michael Lamb, who allowed four hits over five innings. His only mistake came in the fourth inning when he gave up a towering 2-run homer. Lamb struck out three and benefited from three double plays. He walked just one.

Gwatney bounced back from a poor showing last Thursday in a loss to Maumelle to beat Morrilton on Friday behind an Abrahamson grand slam at Conway on Monday. The Chevy Boys improved to 8-3 on the season.

This one was in little doubt after the first inning when Gwatney sent nine to the plate and scored four. The first six batters reached safely, starting with a triple high off the wall in left center by Abrahamson leading off. He scored on a wild pitch, and after Devon McClure drew a walk, Castleberry belted an RBI triple to the fence in straightaway center.

He scored when Nick Rodriguez was safe on an error. Rodriguez eventually came around on Orlando Roberts’ sacrifice fly.

Lamb pitched around a one-out error in the first when second baseman Jesse Harbin started a 4-6-3 double play. Lamb pitched a 1-2-3 second before his offense put three more on the board in the bottom of the inning. Abrahamson once again got things started, this time with a double to right center. McClure drew another walk and Castleberry drove them both home with a double to the fence in left center. Castleberry moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when Rodriguez reached on an error.

Conway started the third with a pair of leadoff singles, but Lamb got out of the jamb with a 1-6-3 double play. Gwatney then put it away with four in the third on just two hits. Roberts was hit with a pitch and Lamb walked. Abrahamson beat out an infield single to score Roberts and Lamb came around on a throwing error on the play. McClure walked for the third time and Castleberry picked up his fourth and fifth RBI with his second double of the game to make it 11-0.

The game ended in the fifth with the eight-run rule when Abrahamson began Gwatney’s third double play of the night.

Abrahamson and Castleberry finished with three hits each, while Zach Traylor picked up Gwatney’s only other base hit. McClure scored three times.

Gwatney junior Legion played Sheridan in a doubleheader last night after Leader deadlines.