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Colts beat Gwatney Chevrolet as American Legion starts

Summer league American Legion baseball got started up over the weekend with Jacksonville Gwatney Chevrolet playing in the North Little Rock Memorial Day Tournament.

The Chevy Boys won their first three games before falling to the host Colts 5-4 in the semifinals.

Jacksonville beat the Little Rock Cobras 4-2 in their opening game, then shut down a pair of Benton teams. Benton Sports Shop fell 7-0, while Gwatney beat Benton Everett GMC 1-0.

Dawson Burge picked up the win on the mound in Gwatney’s win against Little Rock. D.J. Scott singled and scored in the first inning. Jacksonville added three runs in the third to take control of the game. Laderrious Perry had an RBI double, while Ryan Mallison hit a two-run single. Derek St. Claire, Greg Jones and Perry all scored in the inning.

Jacksonville’s 7-0 win against Benton Sports Shop was highlighted by Blake Perry and Cord Simpson combining on a one-hitter, with Perry pitching six hitless innings. Trevor Ransom, St. Claire and Perry each had RBI singles in the win. Jones had a deep two-run double to break the game open in the fourth inning.

With those two wins, Gwatney came back on Sunday for a 1-0 win over Benton Everett GMC. James Tucker gave the Chevy Boys another great pitching performance, going the distance on the bump for a shutout.

Jacksonville scored what turned out to be the winning run in the third inning after Deaundray Harris was hit by a pitch, moved into scoring position on a Mallison single, and scored on a wild pitch.

In the semifinals against the North Little Rock Colts, Jacksonville lost a heartbreaker in the seventh inning. With the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh, the Colts got the leadoff batter on with a single, who then moved into scoring position on an errant pickoff throw. An intentional walk to set up force outs at any bag and a double-play chance worked just right when the next batter grounded to short. The throw was off to second base however, allowing the Colts to load the bases with no outs. A bases-loaded walk brought an anti-climactic end to the close, if error-filled, game. Blake Perry led Jacksonville with an RBI double and scored a run in the loss.

Gwatney plays its first home game today at Hickingbotham Field in Dupree Park.

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