Leader Blues

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

SPORTS >> Gwatney settles for third place

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

Gwatney Chevrolet bounced back from an opening-round loss to Sheridan to post wins over Sylvan Hills and Maumelle and finish third in the Gwatney Chevrolet Tournament last weekend at Burns Park.

In the third-place game on Sunday, Gwatney wasted leadoff base runners in the first and second before erupting for five runs in the third and eight in the fourth to demolish Maumelle 13-3. Gwatney collected 11 of its 13 hits over the final two innings of the four-inning affair.

Devon McClure led the way with three hits and three RBI. He also picked up the victory, allowing three hits and one earned run over three innings of work. He struck out five.

Gwatney busted open a scoreless tie when it sent nine to plate in the third inning, scoring five of them. Orlando Roberts grounded a single to left and Jacob Abrahamson looped a single into center. After a wild pitch moved the runners up to second and third, McClure ripped a two-run single to right to put Gwatney up 2-0. The onslaught was just beginning.

Patrick Castleberry singled home McClure and eventually scored himself on the back end of a double steal.

Chris McClendon walked and Nick Rodriguez was hit with a pitch. Jesse Harbin drove in McClendon with a base hit and Gwatney led 5-0. After pitching out of a pair of jams in the first and second innings, McClure was touched for a run in the third, but it might have been worse. A double, two walks and a wild pitch made it 5-1. Rodriguez, the Gwatney catcher threw a runner out at the plate after another wild pitch and McClure got a strikeout to stop further damage.

Gwatney began an 8-run rally in the fourth after the first batter was retired. Abrahamson walked, McClure singled and Castleberry delivered them both with a single to center. McClendon walked and, with two outs, Zach Traylor singled in two more runs.

Harbin singled and Michael Lamb was hit with a pitch to load the bases. Roberts drew a bases-loaded walk to force in Traylor.
Abrahamson followed with a two-run single and McClure drove in another run with a base hit to make it 13-1.

Traylor came on in relief of McClure in the fourth. Two walks and two singles produced a pair of runs. But McClendon at third base recorded the final two outs of the game.

Castleberry had two hits and three RBI, while Abrahamson went 2 for 2 with two runs and two RBI. Harbin had two hits and an RBI, and Traylor drove in a pair of runs with a base hit.

Gwatney was slated to host North Little Rock last night in a game played after Leader deadlines.