Sox dismiss Arkansas Trailer
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By ROB PATRICK
SHERIDAN — It was somehow inevitable that the Bryant Black Sox would play Arkansas Trailer of Little Rock in the first round of the Zone 4 American Legion Tournament. The two teams had a history, an incident that, in retrospect, was a big to-do about nothing.
Nevertheless, it made news and the impression was that there was bad blood between the teams. There was, in reality, nothing of the sort.
The altercation that drew so much attention and suspended a game between the two teams, had nothing to do with the players.
They had played since with Bryant winning a ho-hum game at Bryant High School Field. Again, in Saturday’s District tourney opener, the second-seeded Sox, in workmanlike fashion, dismissed seventh-seeded Arkansas Trailer, 5-2, as Michael McClellan, Chance King and Beau Hamblin combined on a five-hitter in the nine-inning contest.
The game was originally scheduled for late Friday but rain moved it back to Saturday morning.
Offensively, the Sox cracked 14 hits including six for extra bases. Chris Sory went 3-for-4 and Cody Graddy, Jordan Davis, Dustin Morris and Hamblin each had two hits. Graddy blasted a homer and Morris had a triple and a double.
Bryant led 3-1 going into the fourth and took control of the game with a three-run outburst that started with Graddy’s solo blast, his fourth of the season. Sory followed with a double then Morris slashed his triple into right-center. Matt White’s sacrifice fly plated Morris, making it 6-1.
With McClellan setting down nine successive batters, the Sox cruised into the sixth. With one out, Trailer’s Casey Dwyer singled and Josh Sullivan was hit by a pitch. McClellan got clean-up hitter Richard O’Brien to pop to Kevin Littleton at first but Jimmy Tanner followed with an RBI single to make it 6-2.
A walk to Brian Heckmann loaded the bases and brought the potential tying run to the plate in the person of Trevor Holbert. On an 0-1 pitch, Holbert drilled a long fly to left that had grand slam potential.
But Davis reached up and got a glove on the ball, robbing Holbert of a homer. Davis juggled the ball but, after a treacherous moment, pulled it in to end the inning.
McClellan walked the first batter in the seventh and gave way to King. Apparently, the Trailer coaches felt they could run on King and Graddy, the Bryant catcher, because Mike Moore, who had drawn the walk, took off for second with Reggie Murray at the plate.
But King is one of Bryant’s hardest throwers and Graddy, as well. Moore was out stealing with room to spare.
Murray walked too and with Drew Holbert at the plate, he took off as well. Again, Graddy gunned him down as Trailer wasted two baserunners. Holbert grounded out and Trailer only had one more baserunner the rest of the game.
Despite hits by Graddy and Sory in the bottom of the seventh, the Sox failed to add to their lead.
In the eighth, King walked Dwyer and gave way to Hamblin. Sullivan greeted the new Sox hurler with a lined shot. But Morris, at third, speared it robbing Sullivan of a double. Hamblin proceeded to retire the next five batters to close out the win.
Trailer had led 1-0 in the second when O’Brien doubled and Tanner singled him home with no one out. But McClellan allowed just one bunt single after that until running into trouble in the sixth.
Bryant got the lead in the bottom of the inning. Hamblin and Davis singled. A bad relay throw allowed the duo to reach second and third and, from there, both scored on a double by Kevin Littleton.
In the third, Morris doubled and scored on a two-out two-bagger by Davis to make it 3-1.