CABOT — It’s a different season but the memories of the previous one can linger, especially when the teams are pretty much the same ones.
The Bryant Hornets’ dramatic 14-inning win at Cabot on May 6, proved to be a telling moment for both teams. For the Hornets, it continued a stretch run that not only led to a tie for the regular-season championship of the 7A-Central Conference, it provided further impetus on their run to the program’s first Class 7A State championship.[more]
For Cabot, it was a crippling blow to its hopes of reaching State. With the league so even, it could’ve been the Panthers who made a run deep into the tournament. After all, the final four teams wound up coming from the 7A-Central. Instead, however, they were left on the outside looking in, missing out altogether.
But paybacks are common in baseball. The Hornets were actually gaining a little themselves that night, putting a hurt on the team that ended their 2009 season in the quarterfinals of the State tourney after Bryant had captured the league title and a first-round bye.
So, on Monday, May 31, in the annual Memorial Day meeting between the towns’ Senior American Legion teams played in honor of the Legionnaires, it was Cabot’s turn.
Matt Evans and Tyler Erickson made a three-run first-inning hold up for a 4-2 win over Bryant’s Black Sox.
The game was rained out in 2009 but the last time Cabot had won the annual contest was 2006. (Incidentally, that Black Sox team wound up winning 37 games, capturing the Mountain Home tournament title, winning the regular-season Zone 4 crown then the post-season tournament and, ultimately, playing for the State championship.)
In Monday’s game, the Sox matched Cabot with five hits but none of those were as productive as Powell Bryant’s two-run homer in the bottom of the first.
Joe Bryant was hit by a pitch to start the inning but was forced at second on a grounder by Evans. Matt Turner followed with a double that chased home Evans and, a pitch later, Powell Bryant blasted his home run to make it 3-0.
After that, Bryant starter Jordan Taylor shut down Cabot on just one hit through the fifth inning. He hit a batter in the second with one out then the lone hit came with one down in the third, an infield hit to Powell Bryant who was 3-for-3 in the game.
Evans, meanwhile, pitched around a lead-off single by Landon Pickett in the second then ran into trouble in the third. With two away, he walked Caleb Garrett, Chris Joiner and Hunter Mayall to load the bases. Pickett was hit by a pitch to force in the first run then Brennan Bullock singled up the middle to drive in Joiner, making it 3-2.
But Evans ended it there with a strikeout, forcing the Sox to strand three.
Bryant made some noise in the fifth, again with two down. Mayall and Pickett each singled to left but, with runners at the corners, Evans induced a grounder to short to get out of the jam.
Erickson took over in the sixth and was greeted by Brady Butler with a single. But, after a strikeout, Butler was thrown out trying to steal and the inning ended on a tap back to the mound.
Cabot tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the inning. Powell Bryant’s third hit started the inning. Andrew Reynolds then reached on an error. Bryant went to third when the Sox turned a doubleplay but a two-out single by Cole Nicholson followed and it was 4-2.
In the seventh, Erickson pitched around a one-out error that got Garrett aboard to earn the save.
Now 1-1, Bryant is set to play a pair at Sylvan Hills tonight before hosting Lake Hamilton on Wednesday. The Sox will take off Thursday before heading to Jonesboro for a tournament over the weekend.