Centennial Bank loses twice on Russellville in zone tourney

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Centennial Bank’s Kason Kimbrell slides safely across home plate during the ninth inning of the first round of the zone tournament in North Little Rock. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)
Coleman McAtee watches his batted ball during action Saturday in the first round of the zone tournament in North Little Rock. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)

Russellville proved to be the Achilles’ heel for Cabot Centennial Bank in the Senior Zone American Legion tournament.

Cabot lost twice to Russellville, 6-5 in their opening game of the tournament and 12-9 in their third game of the tournament.

Centennial had a 9-4 win over Conway sandwiched between the losses.

In the opening round game against Russellville, Cabot found themselves down 6-2 headed to the bottom of the ninth inning.

Starting the inning at the bottom of the order, Cabot was able to get in perfect position for a comeback. Grayson Cole led off the ninth with a single, followed by walks to Kason Kimbrell and Zach Patterson to load the bases. Nine-hole hitter Hayden Vinson stroked a double, scoring Cole and Kimbrell. A bunt at the top of the order couldn’t get the run home from third, as the first out was made. A sacrifice fly by Bryson Morris brought in Patterson, but a fly to center couldn’t find somewhere to fall and was caught for the third out.

Against Conway, Cabot never trailed in the 9-4 win, but didn’t take control until a big five-run seventh inning. Cabot scored three runs in the first inning, with Conner Vocque starting the game with a walk and scoring on a triple by Morris. Casey Vaughan followed with an RBI single and later scored on a single by Kimbrell. Kimbrell also had an RBI double in the fifth inning.

Leading 4-1 in the seventh, Cabot broke the game open with the first five batters reaching base and scoring. Coleman McAtee and Patterson had singles, while Ryan Logan reached on a fielder’s choice, Kimbrell was hit by a pitch and Cole reached on an error. Morris would bring in one run with a single, while Vaughan’s single was good for two RBIs.

Conway scored one in the bottom of the seventh and two more in the eighth, but never threatened Cabot’s lead. Morris scattered eight hits over eight innings to earn the win. Kyle Kaufman came in to shut the door in the ninth.

Cabot was paired up with Russellville again and had a hard time slowing down the visitor’s bat this time. Russellville banged out 16 hits in the win, compared to seven for Cabot in the 12-9 loss.

The bottom half of the order was productive again, with Dean and Kaufman combining for six runs. Kaufman was 3 of 4 with a double and RBI.

Cabot led 5-3 after five innings, but Russellville scored two in the sixth, two in the seventh and five in the eighth to put Cabot in a hole they couldn’t get out of. Centennial Bank did score a pair of runs in the ninth inning, but also left a pair on base.

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