OMAHA, Neb. — Right-hander Ozzie Hurt fired a three-hit shutout at a team from Huron, S.D., to[more] cap off a two-win day in pool play for the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team at the 2013 Battle of Omaha on Friday.
Earlier in the day, the Sox dismissed the Niwot, Colo., Twins, 8-3. The results improved the Sox to 3-0 in their pool and 16-1-1 overall going into Saturday’s games against Papillion, Neb., and the Swing Away Gamers No. 2 team.
Hurt walked two and struck out two. Huron was only able to get a base-runner past first once when Hartman Katz opened the bottom of the fourth with a double down the left-field line. But he got no further. Hurt struck out Tyler Waddle, got Damon Robsk to fly to right and retired Paul Cramer on a comebacker to the mound.
The South Dakota team had two aboard in the second but not at the same time. Cramer singled to left with one out but was thrown out trying to steal by Bryant catcher Zach Graddy. Carter Brotherton reached on an error moments later but was stranded when Hurt retired the next batter.
The lone run of the game came in the Bryant third. Graddy led off the inning with a grounder to short that was booted. Austin Caldwell sacrificed him to second and he advanced to third on a passed ball. With two down, Trevor Ezell reached safely on an error as Graddy scored.
The Sox threatened in the fifth when Harrison Dale was hit by a pitch, moved up on Graddy’s groundout and stole third only to be stranded.
Marcus Wilson doubled with one out in the sixth and Cody Gogus walked but Drew Tipton’s liner was turned into a doubleplay to end the inning.
Cramer singled with one out in the bottom of the seventh to give Huron one last chance but the Sox ended the game with a doubleplay.
In the win over the Colorado team, Chase Tucker pitched shutout ball through four innings as the Sox built a 5-0 lead. Niwot broke through with a run in the fifth and when the first two batters reached in the sixth, Devin Dupree relieved. Though the Twins got those two home, they got no more.
The Sox padded the lead with three in the bottom of the sixth and Nate Rutherford closed out the win though he had to work out of a bases-loaded the jam that came as a result of two hits and a one-out walk. The game ended with a nifty 3-6-3 doubleplay.
Tucker struck out six, walked three and hit a batter. The Twins only managed one hit through those first four frames. They had four altogether against the Bryant starter.
Bryant took a 1-0 lead in the opening frame. Ezell singled and stole second and, after Hurt sacrificed him to third, he scored on Wilson’s grounder to third.
Tucker helped his own cause with a one-out double in the second. Gogus then unleashed a two-run homer to left on a 2-1 delivery, making it 3-0.
Hurt singled up the middle to start the third. Wilson walked and on a short passed ball, Hurt went to third as Wilson held at first. A wild pitch followed and Wilson scored as Hurt took second. Hayden Lessenberry was hit by a pitch and Hayden Daniel cracked an RBI single to left to make it 5-0.
When Colorado broke through, a single, an error and a wild pitch set the stage for an RBI single to make it 5-1. But a pop to first and a strikeout ended the uprising.
In the fifth, a double and a walk provoked the pitching change. Dupree was greeted by an RBI single and a sacrifice fly that cut it to 5-3. A single put runners at first and second but then Lessenberry threw out the lead runner as he tried to steal third and the inning ended with a liner to Korey Thompson at second.
In the bottom of the sixth, Thompson drew a lead-off walk for the Sox. Ezell chased him home with a double. Hurt and wild drew walks to load the bases and, with one out, Daniel ripped a two-run single to set the final score.