By Rob Patrick
Call it the one that got away from the Everett Black Sox of Bryant.[more]
On Wednesday night at Bryant High School Field, the Sox held a 6-2 lead after five innings but Hot Springs Village rallied for eight runs over the next two innings and, despite a Bryant comeback attempt in the bottom of the seventh, the visitors held on for a 10-8 win.
The game was tied 2-2 after a couple of innings and stayed that way until the Sox erupted for four runs in the fifth, forcing some Hot Springs Village miscues by using some small ball. Jason Hastings came up with a clutch two-run double and Korey Thompson singled in a run for his second run batted in of the game.
A bad-hop single with one out in the sixth provided the ominous start of the Hot Springs Village comeback. Justin Gunnoe reached on the play then Brett McDaniel cued a roller up the third-base line that Bryant’s Cody Gogus wound up fielding behind the bag and outside the foul line. It was ruled that the ball had bounced over the bag and was fair so Gogus tried to hurry a throw to second for a force only to have it sail on him. All hands were safe and Bryant manager Jason Thompson protested.
But the play stood and, four pitches later, Dillon Brown doubled to right to plate both runs. And when he scored on a wild pitch moments later, the Black Sox’ lead was cut to 6-5.
Devin Dupree, who had retired the first seven batters he faced after relieved Zach Cambron in the fourth, struck out a pair around a walk to Tyler Robertson to get out of the inning with the lead.
Hot Springs Village’s hard-throwing lefty Michael Mendez, the third pitcher of the night, had worked out of the fifth and proceeded to retire the side in order in the sixth.
The seventh began with a hit batsman as Tyler Dauber took a base. Dupree got Chase Anderson to fly out to Hastings in right but then Mendez shot a single inside the first-base bag to send Dauber to third. With Mendez on the move, Gunnoe slapped a grounder through the spot vacated by Thompson, the Bryant second baseman, who was moving to cover the base. Dauber scored to tie the game 6-6.
Gunnoe stole second so the Sox issued an intentional walk to McDaniel to load the bases and create a potential inning-ending doubleplay. Dupree came back by striking out Brown then got a strike in on Hunter Mayfield before he pulled a single into left to give his team the lead.
Dupree and the Sox got a strike away from ending it there but Robertson slapped a single to the opposite field to drive in two runs.
Gogus relieved and unleashed a wild pitch that allowed Mayfield to score, making it 10-6, before Barber flew out to center ending the uprising.
Mendez struck out Zach Graddy to start the bottom of the seventh but then Hastings waited out a walk. Thompson popped to third but Austin Caldwell drew a pass to bring the top of the lineup around. Trevor Ezell responded with a shot down the right-field line for a two-run triple and when Harrison Dale was hit by a pitch and Wesley Akers walked, the bases were juiced for Gogus who came into the game with a team-high three homeruns on the season. But the slugger got just under a 1-1 fastball and skied to center to end the game.
Hot Springs Village had broken on top in the first inning as Cambron struggled with his control initially. One-out walks to Anderson, Mendez and Gunnoe brought up Kody Daily who blooped a single to left, just beyond the outstretched glove of the diving Ezell, roaming out from shortstop. Brown followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
The Sox tied it in the second off Gunnoe. Marcus Wilson walked and Graddy cracked a single to right to send him to third. With one out, the Sox had the squeeze on but the pitch was unreachable for Thompson and Wilson was caught in a rundown. But he not only got out of it, he dove across the plate under a throw to score.
Graddy, who had taken second, came around when Thompson rifled a double down the right-field line to tie the game.
Everett threatened again in the third when Akers doubled to deep left-center and Gogus was plunked by Gunnoe’s last pitch. McDaniel walked Wilson but then forced the Sox to leave the bags full by fanning the next two batters.
Meanwhile, Cambron setting in and worked around an infield hit in the second and a single in the third that was erased by Graddy who threw Mendez out trying to steal.
In the fourth, Ezell singled with two down and Dale walked. They worked a double steal but McDaniel got Akers to bounce to third to end the threat.
While Dupree was setting down the HSV line-up, the Sox grabbed the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Gogus looped a single to center then Wilson got a bunt down that McDaniel fielded. But his throw pulled Brown off first. With runners at first and second, Graddy got a bunt down. Again McDaniel fielded and threw wide, forcing Barber, the second baseman who was covering first, to come off the bag to make the catch and save a run.
But the save was only temporary. With the bases loaded, Hastings dumped a double inside the line in right to snap the tie. Both Gogus and Wilson scored. A wild pitch allowed Graddy to come home then Thompson ended McDaniel’s moundwork with an RBI single to left to make it 6-2.
With no one out, Mendez relieved and Caldwell sacrificed Thompson to second. The lefty struck out the next two to end the uprising and went on to earn the victory in relief.
Now 10-3, the Black Sox head to Harrison for a tournament this Friday. They’ll open against a team from Maryland Heights, a suburb of St. Louis, at 8 p.m.
HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE 10, BRYANT EVERETT BLACK SOX 8
AA American Legion
Hot Springs Village ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi
Dauber, rf-lf 3 1 0 0 Ezell, ss 5 0 2 2
Anderson, ss 3 1 0 0 Dale, 3b-lf 3 0 0 0
Mendez, cf-p 3 2 2 0 Akers, dh-1b 3 0 1 0
Gunnoe, p-3b 3 2 2 1 Gogus, 1b-3b-p 4 1 1 0
Daily, lf 2 0 1 1 Wilson, lf-cf 1 2 0 0
McDaniel, p-cf 1 2 0 0 Graddy, c 3 2 1 0
Brown, 1b 3 1 1 3 Tucker, cf 2 0 0 0
Mayfield, c 3 1 1 1 Hastings, 1b-rf 1 2 1 2
Robertson, 3b-rf 3 0 2 2 Thompson, 2b 4 0 2 2
Barber, 2b 3 0 0 0 Cambron, p 0 0 0 0
Dupree, p 0 0 0 0
Totals 27 10 9 8 Totals 28 8 8 6
Hot Springs Village 200 003 5 — 10
BRYANT EVERETT 020 040 2 — 8
E—Gunnoe, Barber, Gogus. LOB—Bryant 11, Hot Springs Village 5. 2B—Thompson, Hastings, Brown. 3B—Ezell. SB—Anderson, Akers, Thompson, Wilson, Ezell 2, McDaniel, Gunnoe, Dale 2. S—Barber, Wilson, Graddy, Caldwell. SF—Brown.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Hot Springs Village
Gunnoe 2.1 2 2 3 2 2
McDaniel 1.2 4 2 5 2 2
Mendez (W) 3 2 2 1 3 5
Cambron 3 2 2 3 3 1
Dupree (L) 3.2 6 4 6 3 6
Gogus 0.1 0 0 0 0 0
McDaniel pitched to five batters in the fifth.
HBP—Gogus (by Gunnoe), Dauber (by Dupree), Dale (by Mendez). WP—McDaniel, Gogus. PB—Graddy.
Hot Springs Village 10, Everett Black Sox 8