It was a long night of baseball for the Bryant Black Sox AA American Legion team on Friday as they challenged the Sheridan McCoy Tygart Yellowjackets Senior squad at Bryant High School Field.
The Sheridan team is primarily the high school squad that won the 2017 Class 6A State championship last month. On Wednesday, they lost 5-1 to Bryant’s Senior Legion team with both teams missing a player or two.
One of those that wasn’t there on Wednesday was right-hander Tyler Cleveland, the MVP of the 6A Tournament. He started in the first game against the Sox’ AA team and threw three hitless innings. Hunter Hicks and Nathan Kirkpatrick relieved for Sheridan and the trio combined on a no-hitter as the Sox fell 14-0. An eight-run sixth blew up the game.
In the nightcap, the Sox managed three runs but only two hits, both by Myers Buck. Sheridan scored five runs in the first and 11 in the fifth on the way to an 18-3 win.
In the opener, Jeffrey Hastings started for Bryant and held Sheridan scoreless in two of his four frames. In the second, Sheridan took a 3-0 lead. Layne Traylor had the key blow, a two-run single. Another run scored in the fourth.
In the fifth, Hastings issued a lead-off walk to Kirkpatrick and Zion Collins relieved. A pair of singles made it 6-0 before he got out of the inning.
The Sox used three pitchers in the sixth. Christian Motes finally worked out of it. Bryant turned and inning-ending doubleplay.
The Sox, meanwhile, only managed four base-runners. Diego Vargas reached on an error in the first then hustled all the way to third on a wild pitch. But Cleveland struck out the next two batters and Vargas was stranded.
In the fourth, Hicks issued walks to Christian Harp and Jacob Coppock. They moved up to second and third on Konnor Clontz’ grounder to first but, again, a strikeout ended the inning.
Jarod Yarborough walked in the bottom of the sixth but got no further than first.
In the nightcap, Sheridan struck for five runs in the first. Chance Wallingsford started the game with a double and, later in the inning, Austyn Wright doubled to drive in a pair of runs.
Buck led off the bottom of the inning with a double. He took third on Vargas’ grounder to the right side. Harp walked then Kirkpatrick, who pitched an inning in the first game and two more as the started in the second game, unleashed a wild pitch that allowed Buck to score.
Clontz, who started on the mound for Bryant, issued a one-out walk to Traylor in the second then picked him off. Wallingsford flew out to Buck in center to end the inning.
In the home second, Kyle Kling drew a one-out walk but was picked off by Sheridan catcher Justin Pruitt. Motes walked but was left on.
In the third, Hicks drilled a two-run homer to make it 7-1. Buck came in to pitch and retired all six batters he faced. After pitching earlier in the week for the Bryant Senior team, he was on a pitch count so he gave way to Drew Brown in the fifth.
Buck had his second hit in the third and, with one out, Harp reached on an error but Wright, in relief of Kirkpatrick, fanned the next two to keep it 7-1.
The Sox managed a pair of runs in the fourth without a hit. Collins was hit by a pitch then Kling hit a chopper to Hicks at third. Hicks went for the force at second, throwing back against his momentum. As a result, the throw was wild. Collins sprinted home and Kling wound up sliding into third safely. Motes drew a walk then Ryan Lessenberry grounded into a doubleplay that allowed Kling to score, making it 7-3.
But the 11-run debacle in the top of the fifth erased any hope of a Bryant comeback. Wallingsford’s bases-loaded triple was the big hit of the uprising. Hicks, who was 4-for-4 with five RBI’s in the game capped off inning with a two-run double.
The AA Sox return to action against another AA team on Wednesday, June 14, at Clarksville.