The Action Sports Pix A’s went 2-1 in pool play as the Bryant Athletic Association Rookie League[more] (7-8 year olds) preseason tournament got underway last week. The A’s opened with a 7-2 loss to AC of Arkansas on Monday, March 25, but bounced back to defeat Thompson Electric 10-6 on Tuesday and Small & Associates 9-5 on Thursday.
ASP 9, Small & Associates 5
Luke Bickerstaff had three hits and Lee Eskridge smacked a home run and drove in four runs in the A’s win on Thursday.
Daniel Taylor and Dylan Hunt had two hits each for Small. Hunt and Chase Small each belted homers and drove in two runs apiece.
ASP took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Horn and Nagle led off with singles then Bickerstaff doubled to plate the first run. With one out, Nagle scored on Fischer’s groundout and when Eskridge beat out a hit, Bickerstaff scored to make it 3-0.
Small got on the board in the second when Hunt singled, stole second, third and home.
The home third brought a maximum four-run uprising for the A’s, an uprising ignited by Horn’s lead-off triple. He scored on a groundout by Nagle. Bickerstaff singled, Bunt doubled and, with two down, Eskridge belted an inside-the-park home run.
S&A trimmed two runs off the margin in the top of the fourth when Hunt hit an inside-the-park homer, driving in Andrew Morse who had reached on a fielder’s choice after Taylor had singled.
Small made it a tighter game in the fifth when Small hit his homer, knocking in Caleb Barfield who had singled earlier in the inning. The 7-5 score didn’t last long as ASP got those two runs back in the bottom of the fifth. It was a two-out rally. Nagle and Bickerstaff singled then raced home on a triple by Bunt.
ASP 10, Thompson Electric 6
Trailing 6-4 going into the fourth inning, the A’s rallied for three runs and held Thompson scoreless the rest of the way while tacking on three insurance tallies in the top of the sixth.
Fischer and Bickerstaff each had three hits with Nagle, Bunt, Eskridge and Everett adding two hits each for the victors. For Thompson Electric, Mason Lucas went 3 for 3. Grant Johnson, Drake Brown, Christian Hughes, Jeffrey Francis and Sam Forst had two hits apiece.
Both teams struck for the maximum of four runs in the opening at-bats. In the top of the first, one-out singles by Nagle, Bickerstaff and Bunt loaded the sacks for Fischer who’s infield hit resulted in a throwing error that cleared the bases. Eskridge singled in Fischer to make it 4-0.
In the bottom of the inning, base hits by Carson Kemp and Johnson set the table for Brown who doubled in the first run. Lucas’ single drove in two and, after he took second on the throw home, Lucas scored on a single by Polk.
After all that, the bats went silent until, in the bottom of the third, Thompson grabbed the advantage when Johnson, Brown and Lucas singled to fill the bags for Hughes who singled in two.
ASP answered in the top of the fourth. One-out singles by Bickerstaff and Bunt produced a run. Fischer and Eskridge followed with hits that brought Bunt around with the tying tally before Mason Dougherty snapped the deadlock with a base hit that plated Eskridge.
The game went to the sixth with the A’s clinging to the 7-6 edge. The insurance runs came after Nagle and Bickerstaff singled. After working a double steal, Nagle scored. With one out, Fischer singled to make it 9-6. Everett’s single produced the 10th run.
Forst had a one-out base hit in the bottom of the sixth but that was all the Thompson could muster.
AC of Arkansas 7, ASP 2
AC of Arkansas got out to a fast start with four runs on an inside-the-park grand slam by Jase Billingsley in the first and built a 7-0 lead before the A’s picked up two runs in the home fourth. But when AC held them scoreless in the fifth, the game was out of reach with the four-run-per-inning maximum.
Gavin Hill, Billingsley and Gideon Motes each had two hits for AC of Arkansas with Billingsley driving in six of the team’s seven runs including a second inside-the-park homer. Bickerstaff led ASP with two hits and an RBI.
Billingsley’s first-inning blast came after Noah Flack, Hill and Tucker Dunn had started the game with base hits to load the bases. Motes circled the bases on a drive to center for an inside-the-park homer in the second to make it 5-0.
It stayed that way until the fourth when Hill doubled and Billingsley connected for his second round trip.
The ASP fourth was ignited by a triple from Nagle and an RBI double for Bickerstaff. Everett’s single plated the second run but that’s all they could get.