By Rob Patrick
BENTON — Six runs in the first two innings held up for the Bryant Black Sox Senior American[more] Legion team Monday night but it got a little uncomfortable at the end. The Hot Springs Village Sally’s Body Shop AA team whittled it down to 6-3 before the final outs were recorded.
The two teams were playing at Bernard Holland Park in Benton because of work on the backstop at Bryant High School Field. That’s where the same HSV team had eked out a 5-4 win over the Sport Shop Black Sox AA team on Saturday, scoring an unearned run — their fourth of the game — in the top of the seventh to snap a 4-4 tie. The Villages only managed five hits against Sport Shop starter Justin Emmerling.
That may have been part of the Senior Sox’ letdown after building the early lead. Sally’s pitcher Mason Chapmond, who earned the save in Saturday’s game, had something to do with it too. The right-hander, a former star at Lake Hamilton High School, shut out the Senior Sox on four hits over the last four innings, giving his team a chance to rally.
The win was the 20th of the season for Bryant. Now 20-2-1, the Sox head to Belleville, Ill., for pool play in the annual Tournament of Champions, hosted by Alton, Ill., in the St. Louis area. They’ll open pool play Friday with games against Eureka, Mo., and DeSoto, Mo., then take on Pekin, Ill., and Belleville on Saturday. Winners of each of the three pools plus a wild card will compete in the championship bracket in Alton, on Sunday.
Ozzie Hurt led the Sox with three hits. Tyler Nelson and Chase Tucker added two each.
Hurt was the winning pitcher, shutting out the Villagers on five hits over the first four frames. Hayden Daniel, back in action after recovering from a sore back, worked the fifth and Nate Rutherford closed it out, pitching the sixth and seventh.
The Sox pushed three runs home against HSV starter Tyler Robertson in the opening inning. Hurt singled to center with one out, Marcus Wilson walked and Nelson parachuted a single into shallow right to drive in the first run. After Nelson swiped second, Tucker shot a single to right that drove both runs home.
Cody Gogus cracked a single to left center to put runners at the corners with one out but they were stranded.
In the second, Harrison Dale sent a solid single to center and, with one down, Hurt looped a single to left. With two away, Nelson pulled a single to right that got Dale home easily. Hurt rounded third and raced towards the plate at Hot Springs Village right-fielder Tyler Dauber fired to the cut-off man who relayed home. On a close play, Hurt slid inside of the plate and scored.
But the call wasn’t clear. The homeplate umpire pointed, apparently at where Hurt has crossed the plate but HSV catcher Briar Jackson and his teammates thought he was pointing to the tag and started off the field despite the fact that there was no signal or call of “out.” Nelson came around and crossed the plate as well and, before the Villagers knew what had happened, the Sox had a 6-0 lead and the inning continued.
Robertston got Gogus to fly to left to end the inning but gave way to Chapmond in the third.
Meanwhile, Hurt pitched around a one-out single to Chapmond in the first then worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second. C.J. Williams beat out an infield hit off of Hurt’s glove and, after Hurt fanned Josh Mitchell for the second out, Dylan Anderson singled to left and Dauber beat out an infield single to fill the sacks with the top of the batting order coming up. Hurt, however, got Andrew Seamor to hit a grounder to Drew Tipton at second, resulting in an inning-ending force.
In the third, Chase Anderson pulled a double inside the line in left and Jackson was hit by a pitch but when Robertson smacked a one-hopper back at Hurt, he snagged it and started a doubleplay that ended the frame.
Bryant’s third had potential when, with one out, Austin Caldwell beat out a bunt single, Dale walked and Tipton legged out a hit on a routine grounder to second. As it turned out, the only time Hot Springs Village was able to get Hurt out it was when he bounced into a doubleplay to end the third-inning threat.
From there, Chapmond retired nine in a row and 10 of the last 11 with Hurt’s two-out single in the bottom of the sixth producing the lone base-runner.
On the mound, Hurt worked a 1-2-3 fourth and gave way to Daniel, whom Bryant manager Darren Hurt wanted to get some work for in advance of the trip to Illinois. Seamor beat out an infield hit with one out, Chapmond walked and Chase Anderson singled to left to load the bases. Daniel struck out Jackson but, a pitch later, hit Robertson with a pitch that deflected off his batting helmet. That forced in the first HSV run.
Daniel got out of it at that point, inducing a bouncer to Gogus at first off the bat of Williams.
Rutherford took over in the sixth and struck out two as he retired the side in order. Seamor, however, opened the seventh with a double off the fence in left. And when Chapmond’s grounder was booted, Seamor scored from second.
The Villagers stayed out of a doubleplay by putting Chapmond in motion with Chase Anderson at the plate. He bounced to Dale at third for the first out as Champmond held at second. Jackson drove him in from there with a liner to left for a single.
Jackson moved to second when the cut-off man was missed on the throw toward home. Rutherford got Robertson to groundout to second as Chapmond moved to third. He then struck out Williams to leave him there as the game concluded.
BRYANT 6, HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE SALLY'S BODY SHOP 3
HSV ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi
Seamor, cf 4 2 2 0 Tipton, 2b 4 0 1 0
Chapmond, ss-p 3 1 1 0 Hurt, p-ss 4 2 3 0
C.Anderson, 3b-ss 4 0 2 0 Wilson, cf-lf 3 1 0 0
Jackson, c 3 0 1 1 Nelson, ss 3 2 2 3
Robertson, p-3b 3 0 0 1 Daniel, p-cf 0 0 0 0
Williams, lf 4 0 1 0 Tucker, rf 3 0 2 2
Mitchell, 1b 3 0 0 0 Gogus, 1b 3 0 1 0
D.Anderson, 2b 3 0 1 0 Graddy, c 2 0 0 0
Dauber, cf 3 0 1 0 Lessenberry, c 1 0 0 0
Caldwell, lf 3 0 1 0
Rutherford, p 0 0 0 0
Dale, 3b 2 1 1 0
Totals 30 3 9 2 Totals 28 6 11 5
HSV 000 010 2 — 3
BRYANT 330 000 x — 6
E—Jackson, Tipton. DP—Hot Springs Village 1, Bryant 1. LOB—Hot Springs Village 9, Bryant 7. 2B—Tucker, C.Anderson, Seamor. SB—Nelson, Gogus.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Hot Springs Village
Robertson (L) 2 6 6 8 1 0
Chapmond 4 0 0 3 1 6
Hurt (W) 4 0 0 5 0 2
Daniel 1 1 1 2 1 1
Rutherford 2 2 1 2 0 3
HBP—Jackson (by Hurt), Robertson (by Daniel). WP—Robertson, Hurt, Chapmond, Daniel.