JONESBORO — Over the first weekend in June, the Everett Black Sox AA American Legion team dismissed[more] a pair of teams from Jonesboro to reach the finals of a tournament there. In the championship game against Jonesboro Fat City, they took a 1-0 lead only to have the game washed out by rain. Though Bryant manager Justin Thompson said there were hopes the game could be made up, no plans for doing so have yet to be finalized.
The Sox improved to 4-0 on the season by downing the Jonesboro Jackals, 12-0, on Friday, June 1. The next day, they whipped Jonesboro Seams Sport Academy, 11-1.
In the semifinal win, the trio of Jason Hastings, Zach Cambron and Devin Dupree combined to allow one run on two hits in the five-inning contest. Over the first two innings, Hastings struck out four, walked two and gave up a single. Cambron issued a walk in the third then retired the next two before an error extended the inning. A single followed to drive in the lone Seams’ run. Dupree worked a 1-2-3 fourth then pitched around a pair of walks and an error in the fifth to close out the win.
Marcus Wilson led the offense with three hits and a walk. Korey Thompson was on base all four times he came to the plate as well. He walked three times and was hit by a pitch.
The Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first when Trevor Ezell singled and Wilson ripped a triple. Wes Akers followed with a sacrifice fly.
A five-run second put Everett in control of the game. The uprising began with an error that allowed Hastings to reach second. He stole third and, after Austin Caldwell walked, a double steal produced a run. Thompson drew a free pass and, with one out, so did Ezell, setting the table for Wilson who shot a double to left, clearing the bases. Wilson scored on a base hit by Cody Gogus to make it 7-0.
With one out in the top of the third, Thompson drew another pass and Trey Breeding laced a single to left. Ezell was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Wilson singled to give him five runs batted in.
After the Seams picked up their lone run in the bottom of the inning, Bryant got it back in the fourth. C.J. Phillips walked, took second on an errant pickoff and, after Thompson was plunked and Breeding walked to load the bases, a wild pitch allowed the run to score.
Everett made it a run-rule lead in the top of the fifth. Wilson walked and Harrison Dale singled. A walk to Riley Hall loaded the bases then Phillips grounded into a force out at the plate. Dale scored on a passed ball, however, and walks to Zach Graddy and Thompson forced in the final run.
Nate Rutherford tossed a one-hit shutout over four innings in the win over the Jackals. He was perfect until a one-out error in the third but the Sox turned a doubleplay to end that threat. After retiring the first batter of the fourth, a single up the middle spoiled the no-hit bid. Rutherford retired the next two, however, to close it out.
Bryant scored seven times in the second and five times in the third to produce the run-rule lead. Ezell had three hits, Wes Akers and Graddy added two each.
The second-inning outburst started with singles by Gogus, Graddy and Jason Hastings that produced a run. Graddy scored on a passed ball and, with one out, Dale walked and Thompson sacrificed to put runners at second and third for Ezell who came through with a two-run triple down the line in right. He scored when Wilson reached on an error. Akers doubled then he and Wilson scored on passed balls.
In the third, Graddy singled to center but was forced at second on a grounder to third by Hastings. A stolen base and a single by Phillips brought Hastings around. Dale reached on an error then Thompson singled in a run. Ezell did as well.
Wilson picked up an RBI when he grounded into a force at second but beat the relay to first. Akers singled then Gogus was hit by a pitch and Graddy walked to force in the final run.