By Rob Patrick
MALVERN — Between them, Blake Patterson, Evan Lee and Drew Tipton were on base 15 times,[more] going a combined 11 for 11 at the plate as the Everett Black Sox outslugged Malvern National Bank, 18-8, in six innings at the Zone 4 Junior District Tournament Friday at Morrison Park.
Patterson slugged a home run, a double and a triple, walked twice, scored four runs and drove in four.
Tipton cracked five singles, scored three times and drove in three.
Lee had three singles, two walks, scored five runs and knocked one in.
But the game was deadlocked 8-8 going into the bottom of the fifth inning. The Sox had scored two runs in each of its four turns at bat. In the home fifth, however, they got three to break the pattern. Devin Dupree settled in on the mound and Bryant erupted for seven in the bottom of the sixth to make it a run-rule win with just one out in the inning.
Now 23-0 on the season, the Sox advance to play on Sunday morning at 10 at Hot Springs Lakeside, where the rest of the tournament will be contested. They’ll take on the Little Rock Cobras, who dismissed the Little Rock Diamondbacks 9-0 on Friday.
The top three finishers at the Zone tourney will advance to the Junior State Tournament at Cabot.
In Friday’s game, the Sox scored in every inning. Malvern was held off the board twice, in the first behind starter Harrison Dale and in the top of the sixth by Dupree.
The game was marred by 18 walks and three hit batsmen. Though consistent, the homeplate umpire had a tight zone and it forced the pitchers to put it down the middle (where it was smacked) or issue walks. Between the teams, as well, 22 runners were stranded.
Bryant gained the upper hand initially when, with two down in the home first, Lee beat out an infield hit and Patterson unloaded on a blast the cleared the fence in right.
In the top of the second, Malvern grabbed a 4-2 lead. Christian Lee singled but was forced at second on a grounder to Tipton at second. T.J. Johnson singled and a wild pitch moved them up to second and third. Austin Owens walked and the bases were loaded for MNB lead-off hitter Devin Carpenter, who had three hits in the game. He got the first of those to drive in his team’s first run.
Another infield hit, this time by Trace Collie, drove in Johnson then a wild pitch got Owens home. A two-out walk to Jake Golden loaded the bases and a walk to Austin Wright on a 3-2 pitch forced in the fourth run.
Patterson saved further damage at first when, on a grounder to third, the throw was off line. He came off the bag to make the catch and just got a tag on Christian in time to end the inning.
“We had a solid first inning,” stated Sox manager Tyler Brown. “The second inning, we kind of fell off the hill a little bit, gave up four runs, and really, the whole game we struggled and struggled but we kept battling and competing, which is what we preach to our guys: Compete, no matter what the circumstances are or how bad it gets. Stay in the game, never panic and always compete.
“Honestly, it’s mental things,” he explained. “We make one mistake and I see guys get down on themselves. We carry that with us after that instead of letting it go. We’ve got to learn, we’re going to make errors; we’re not going to get a hit every time we’re up at the dish. It’s how can you bounce back from that. What can I do the next time I get a ball hit to me. It’s the next play is mine. I get the ball. I make the play. I make the throw and we get a guy out. Or I come to the dish and I make that bunt and move a guy over. It’s the little things that are going to win games.
“In the end, we kept competing and we ended up hammering them,” Brown concluded. “We got it done.”
The Sox tied it in the home second when, with two down, Brandan Warner found the gap in left-center for a double. He stole third and, after Connor Tatum walked and swiped second, a passed ball allowed Warner to score. Tipton’s single to right plated Tatum with the tying tally.
In the third, walks to Brooks Homan and Johnson resulted in a pitching change. Dupree’s first offering was bunted for a successful sacrifice then Carpenter singled to left and, when it was booted briefly in the outfield, a second run scored to make it 6-4.
Dupree got the next two batters to bounce out to keep it a two-run margin and the Sox erased that with the third of their four two-run innings. Evan Lee led off with a single and Patterson walked. When Dupree placed a bunt so well that he got a base hit out of it, the bags were full.
Trey Breeding’s sacrifice fly got Lee in then Dale picked up an RBI with a grounder to third, tying it up again.
Dupree fanned the first two in the top of the fourth but walks to Christian Lee and Homan, a wild pitch and an error put Malvern up 7-6. Despite a wild pitch, Dupree struck out Owen to end the uprising.
The Sox regained the lead in the bottom of the inning. Tipton stroked a single to left and was sacrificed to second by Dalton Holt. A passed ball allowed Tipton to take third as Evan Lee drew a walk. Patterson walked to fill the bases again so when Dupree was plunked by a pitch and Breeding walked, runs were forced in to tie the game and give the Sox an 8-7 edge.
Malvern tied it in the top of the fifth on doubles by Collie and Golden. With runners at second and third with one out, Austin Wright was walked intentionally to load the bases and set up a force at each base. The strategy worked as Dupree got Christian Lee to bounce to Tatum at short, near the second base bag. He stepped on for the force and fired to first for the inning-ending doubleplay.
Again, Bryant responded. The home fifth began with a one-out single for Tipton. He moved up on Holt’s squibber between the mound and first for the second out. Evan Lee drew a walk and Patterson one-hopped the right-field fence for an RBI double.
Dupree was struck by a pitch for the second time then, on an 0-1 pitch, Breeding came through with a shot to left for a two-run single that made it 11-8.
After the Bryant hurler worked around a walk and a single with two down in the top of the sixth, the Sox resumed their onslaught. Warner’s drive to center was misplayed, opening the floodgates. Tatum beat out a bunt single and stole second. Tipton singled both home. He swiped third and scored on a wild pitch after Homan became Malvern’s third pitcher.
Holt lined a double to left-center to get the carousel spinning again. Evan Lee singled him in then Patterson ripped a triple to right-center, making him a single short of a cycle. Dupree singled him in. Breeding walked and, after Dale bounced into a force at second, Warner ended it with an RBI single to center.
BRYANT EVERETT 18, MALVERN NATIONAL BANK 8
MNB ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi
Carpenter, 3b 5 1 3 2 Tipton, 2b 5 3 5 3
Collie, ss 5 1 2 1 Holt, rf 4 1 1 0
L.Wright, p-rf 2 0 0 0 E.Lee, cf 3 5 3 1
Golden, cf-p 3 0 1 1 Patterson, 1b 3 4 3 4
A.Wright, rf-cf 2 0 0 1 Dupree, lf-p 3 1 2 2
C.Lee, lf 3 1 1 0 Breeding, c 2 0 1 2
Homan, 2b-p 2 2 0 0 Dale, p-lf 5 0 0 1
Johnson, c 3 2 1 0 Warner, 3b 4 2 2 1
Owens, 1b 1 1 0 0 Tatum, ss 3 2 1 0
Totals 26 8 8 5 Totals 32 18 18 16
Malvern 042 110 — 8
BRYANT 222 237 — 18
One out when game-ending run scored.
E—A.Wright 2, Carpenter, Dale, Tatum. DP—Bryant 1. LOB—Malvern 12, Bryant 10. 2B—Warner, Collie, Golden, Patterson, Holt. 3B—Patterson. HR—Patterson. SB—Warner, Tatum 2, E.Lee, Tipton. S—Owens, Holt. SF—Breeding.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
L.Wright 3.1 8 8 6 6 0
Golden (L) 1.2 6 6 5 1 0
Homan 0.1 4 3 5 1 0
Dale 2 5 4 4 5 1
Dupree (W) 4 2 1 4 5 3
HBP—L.Wright (by Dale), Dupree 2 (by L.Wright, by Golden). WP—Dale, Dupree 3, Homan 1. PB—Johnson 2, Breeding.