Leader Blues

Friday, June 26, 2009

SPORTS >> Gwatney rides arm of Harmon, Bruins’ errors to 9-1 victory

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

When your ace pitcher struggles, it can make for a long evening.

Just ask Sylvan Hills.

Optimist Bruins hurler Nathan Eller had been enjoying a good summer on the mound until Thursday at Dupree Park, when Gwatney Chevrolet lit him up for 10 hits in a 9-1 run-ruled win in an American Legion senior zone game.

Only four of those runs were earned. Sylvan Hills committed four critical errors, including two in the bottom of the third inning that resulted in four unearned runs. The only earned run of the inning was a single by Devon McClure that plated winning

Jacksonville pitcher Michael Harmon to give Gwatney a 7-1 lead.

Doubles by Jason Regnas and Harmon clinched the final two scores needed in the bottom of the fifth to end the game early.

Harmon kept the Bruins off the bases for the most part, giving up only two hits and a walk that resulted in one earned run. He also had five strikeouts.

The Chevy Boys did their job behind him with only one error in the top of the third inning when shortstop Terrell Brown couldn’t get to an infield dribbler by Casey Cerrato in time and made a rushed throw to Regnas at first.

They made up for the bobble moments later when Regnas and second baseman A.J. Allen caught Cerrato in a rundown for the third out.

Jacksonville also took advantage of three hit batters and a walk.

Brown sent Eller’s second offering of the game over the left center wall to set the tone for the Chevy Boys in the bottom of the first inning. Eller recovered to retire Jacksonville with two of his four strikeouts for the game, but Gwatney added another run in the second inning. Allen singled and advanced to second on a single to center by Regnas, but an error on the play allowed Allen to coast home to make it 2-0 after two.

Daniel Thurman started the deciding frame off for Jacksonville in the bottom of the third with a single to left. Allen was hit by a pitch, and an error on an infield grounder by Regnas scored both of them.

A walk to Seth Tomboli and a single by Harmon loaded the bases, and another error, this time on an infield grounder by Brown, scored Regnas and Tomboli to put the Chevy Boys up 6-1.

Regnas led off the bottom of the fifth with a double to right center, and Harmon drove him in with a double down the first base line. A single by McClure scored Harmon to make it 9-1 to end the game on the eight-run rule.

The Bruins’ only score of the game came in the top of the second inning when Gino Jameson reached on a walk and came in three batters later on a groundout by Eller.

Regnas was 2 of 2 with a double, two RBI and two runs. Harmon, along with earning the win for Gwatney Chevrolet with a complete-game effort, went 2 of 3 with a double, an RBI and two runs. McClure was 2 of 4 with two RBI.