CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — The Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team ran into some tough pitching in their debut at the East Cobb-Perfect Game Invitational on Thursday.
Brock Swafford and Wil Morrow combined on a one-hitter as the Excel Blue Sox 17U team forged a 3-1 victory.
That lone hit was an RBI single by Logan Chambers that tied the game in the bottom of the second. Jake Wright had reached second on an error to start the inning. A doubleplay took the starch out of the uprising.
The Blue Sox’ first two runs were unearned against Bryant starter Alex Shurtleff. The game started with a hit batsman. Josh Glass stole second then tagged and moved to third on a fly to center by Jack Mason. Shurtleff and the Black Sox were a strike away from ending the inning but a grounder to third by Colton Clark was booted and Glass scored.
After Bryant was retired in order in the bottom of the first, Shurtleff pitched around a two-out walk with a pair of strikeouts in the top of the second.
In the top of the third, Excel’s first two batters reached on an error and a walk. But the lead runner was caught off second with a pickoff throw and was rundown. The trail runner tried to follow up and got to second but was thrown out rounding the bag for an unorthodox doubleplay. Shurtleff struck out the next batter to send it to the bottom of the inning.
Jake East reached base on a one-out error the Bryant. He would steal second but was stranded.
Another error undermined the Black Sox’ effort in the top of the fourth allowing Clark to reach. With two down, Shurtleff was again a strike away from escaping. Clark stole second then scored on a single to left by Ethan Whitley.
For Bryant in the fourth, Wright worked a one-out walk but a doubleplay ended the frame.
After a single and a walk in the top of the fifth, Boston Heil relieved for the Sox and hit the first batter he faced to load the bases. But the next batter flew out to Seth Tucker in left then Heil induced a grounder to East at short who started an inning-ending doubleplay.
Brandon Hoover walked with one out in the home fifth then Scott Schmidt reached on an error. East sacrificed them to second and third but Swafford induced a groundout to third to end the threat.
Heil worked around a two-out walk in the top of the sixth but the Black Sox, in turn, were set down in order by Morrow, on in relief of Swafford.
Excel put together three singles to tack on a run in the seventh before Myers Buck, on in relief of Heil, ended the inning with a pair of strikeouts.
Morrow then set down the Black Sox in order in the bottom of the inning to earn the save.
Bryant was set to resume pool play in the tournament this afternoon.