Leader Blues

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

SPORTS >> Catholic catches up to Sylvan Hills

Sylvan Hills starter Blake Rasdon delivers a pitch during Monday’s game.

By JASON KING

Leader sportswriter

Blake Rasdon successfully worked his way out of just as many pinches as he got himself into, except for the last one.

Little Rock Catholic scored the winning run in the sixth inning of a 2-1 victory over Sylvan Hills at Kevin McReynolds Field, handing Rasdon, the Bears’ junior starter, a hard-luck loss.

Rasdon, a 6-2, 195-pound right-hander, worked out of trouble for five innings as the Rockets stranded eight, but he walked Jordan Harvey to start the sixth, and then took over in right field as coach Denny Tipton relieved Rasdon with Justin Cook.

Cook retired two but gave up an RBI double to No. 1 hitter Nick Rougeau and Catholic held on for the victory.

“It was a game of opportunities, and that’s all you can ever ask is to have some opportunities,” Tipton said. “We had some opportunities, and Catholic did a good job of getting us out.”

The Bears stranded 10 base-runners of their own, leaving two at second and third in the bottom of the sixth.

Lance Hunter doubled down the third base line to start things off, but was not able to advance as Rasdon popped up a bunt to Catholic pitcher Patrick Gurley. Bears senior shortstop Korey Arnold walked, and Cook advanced both runners on a groundout to second.

But Gurley survived the threat by striking out Nick Baioni.

The Bears took the lead in the bottom of the second when Michael Lock doubled to the left-field wall to drive in Rasdon, who walked.

The Rockets answered in the top of the fifth when Drew McMahan singled to left to score leadoff man Rougeau, who started the inning with a single and advanced two bases on a passed ball.

Rasdon gave up another single to Aaron Chwalinski, but induced two groundouts and an infield popup to get out of the inning.

“I thought our pitchers threw real well,” Tipton said. “Last time, they beat us 10-3. We made a few mistakes in that game, but they did well today. We just don’t deserve to win if we don’t get two runs.”

Rasdon was able to keep Catholic scoreless in the top of the third despite facing a bases loaded jam. Blaine Tanner doubled to center, and Chwalinski and Matt Morris followed by drawing walks. But with two out, Rasdon struck out Hunter Rankin and left all three runners stranded.