June 5 in Bryant athletic history: 2011

Black Sox junior team captures tournament title at Harrison

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HARRISON — For the second game in a row, the Bryant Black Sox Junior American Legion team, mostly 15- and 16-year-old players, downed a 19-and-under team from Missouri and, this time, it was good for the championship of the Harrison Invitational Tournament.

The Sox bolted to a 6-0 lead and finished with a 9-5 victory over the West Plains, Mo., Merchants, on Sunday to wrap up the tourney title.

“They played hard. They hit the ball well. They played with a purpose the whole tournament,” stated Sox manager Jimmy Parker. “The first game was a little rough but we got through it and they gradually got a little bit better. We played some good competition and that’s going to help us in the long run. I can’t say enough about their attitude and how they’re playing. They’re giving us everything they’ve got. We’re happy with them.”

Bryant, now 8-1 this season, hammered out nine hits including three by shortstop Trevor Ezell. Zach Cambron and Austin Caldwell combined to shut out West Plains over the first four innings as the Sox built their lead. The Missouri team whittled two runs off the lead in the fifth but Bryant put the game away with a three-run seventh and held on when West Plains rallied for three in the bottom of the inning. Tyler Green closed out the victory on the mound.

“West Plains was good,” Parker asserted. “They hit the ball all weekend. Our pitchers did a good job, kept it away from them. We jumped out on them a little bit there and our pitchers kept them off balance enough. Cambron was doing well but his arm got a little sore on him. Caldwell came in and did a good job, kept the ball down. That’s the key to those guys, keeping it down, not letting them find something to drive, to square up on. Tyler came in and finished it up.”

Bryant took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Ezell singled with one out, Marcus Wilson walked and Cody Gogus rapped an RBI single. Daniel Richards then got a squeeze bunt down that got Wilson home.

Cambron gave up a one-out single in the bottom of the inning but the Sox turned a doubleplay to send it to the second.

And they added to their lead. Cambron walked with one out then, with two away, Green singled and Ezell and Wilson ripped consecutive doubles to make it 5-0.

Cambron retired the first two in the second but then had to come out and Caldwell came on. The Merchants loaded the bases on a single and a pair of walks but Caldwell got the final out on a liner to Ezell at short to keep the shutout intact. He would work around a two-out error in the third and pitch through a single and a walk in the fourth.

The Sox tacked on a run in the top of the fourth. Green ripped a double and stole third. With two down, Wilson walked then the duo worked a double steal to make it 6-0.

A walk, a stolen base and a double produced West Plains’ first run in the bottom of the fifth. With two out, an error allowed the second run to come in.

Bryant’s clinching uprising in the seventh began with a single by Ezell and walks to Wilson and Gogus. The Sox tried a safety squeeze with Richards again but this time he didn’t get the bunt down. Momenst later, however, he cracked a two-run double. With two down, Josh Davis singled in the final run.

A double to start the bottom of the seventh led to Green entry in relief. He got the first batter to pop to first then issued a walk. After a force at second, back-to-back doubles drove in runs but Green got the final out on a bouncer to Korey Thompson at second.

Bryant was scheduled to play Hot Springs on Tuesday but the game has been moved. The Sox will return to action on Thursday, June 9, at home against Little Rock Continental Express.

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