The Bryant Black Sox 15U All-Stars avenged their lone loss of the Babe Ruth State Tournament then won the losers’ bracket final to advance to the championship round at Bishop Park on Monday. The title battle will be between Bryant and White Hall on Tuesday at 5 p.m. Bryant must win twice to capture the title.
The 15’s, coached by Darren Hurt and Jerry East, include J.T. Parker, Caleb Greiner, Gavin Burton, Connor Martin, Drew Hatman, Calvin Myles, Colby Morrow, Braxton Prather, Jaxon Ham, Cade Parker, Logan White, Dylan Jones, Hayden Thompson and Kyler Pabon.
Bryant edged Ouachita County, 4-3, after losing to the Camden team in the tourney opener, 13-2 on Friday. But, as it turned out, Ouachita County had been playing ineligible players from outside the county. The team went on to defeat Sylvan Hills in a winners’ bracket game but wound up having to forfeit when Sylvan Hills protested, recognizing players from Arkadelphia and Magnolia on the Ouachita County team.
After ousting the Bryant 14’s, Ouachita County was eliminated by the Bryant 15’s who followed up with a 17-2 romp over Sylvan Hills.
Bryant 4, Ouachita County 3
Drew Hatman continued to be clutch for the Black Sox earning a save by pitching two scoreless innings of relief after Logan White went the first five frames.
It was Hatman’s third relief appearance in three State tourney games for Bryant. Over those three outings, he had pitched nine scoreless innings, allowing three hits, one walk and striking out nine.
Ouachita County scored twice in the top of the first. Bryant rallied for three in the second to take the lead and extended it to 4-2 in the fourth. Ouachita County scored a run in the top of the fifth before Hatman relieved in the sixth.
He was greeted by a double. But, moments later, Hatman picked the runner off second. The next two batters flew out.
In the top of the seventh, the first two batters tried to bunt their way on only to have Hatman bounce off the mound, field them and throw both batters out at first. He then ended the game with a strikeout.
A hit batsman, a bunt single and a groundout produced Ouachita County’s first run. An error on another grounder made it 2-0. White got out of the inning by inducing a comebacker.
In Bryant’s second, Morrow reached on an error and Cade Parker beat out a bunt single. Thompson sacrificed to put runners at second and third for Ham, who delivered a two-run single to right.
A pair of wild pitches had Ham at third with the potential go-ahead run. Yet another wild pitch as Hatman drew a two-out walk put the Sox on top for good.
White pitched around a two-out single in the top of the third. Kyler Pabon singled with one down in the home third but was stranded.
White retired the first two in the top of the fourth before issuing a pair of walks. But the inning ended when the lead-runner was thrown out trying to steal third by Sox catcher Gavin Burton.
Bryant tacked on what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the inning. Morrow singled, took second on a passed ball and third on Thompson’s groundout to the right side.
With two away, Ham walked then the duo worked a double steal with Martin, in to run for Morrow, stealing home on the front end before Ham was tagged out between first and second.
White struck consecutive batters with one out in the top of the fifth. A wild pitch put them at second and third then a groundout plated a run. Another groundout ended the inning with the potential tying run standing at third.
A two-out single by White and a walk to Pabon gave Bryant a chance to add to the one-run lead in the bottom of the fifth but Ouachita County got out of the jam. Cade Parker singled with two down in the bottom of the sixth but was left aboard.
Bryant 17, Sylvan Hills 2
Out of pitching, a quartet of Sylvan Hills hurlers issued a whopping 16 walks and hit two batters. Three errors helped the Sox’ cause as well.
Hatman, who finished the win over Ouachita County finally gave up a couple of runs (one earned) but still picked up the win with three innings of work. Greiner pitched a scoreless fourth in the run-rule victory.
Morrow had two of Bryant’s six hits. Burton, J.T. Parker, Cade Parker and Thompson had hits with Cade Parker slugging a home run and driving in three.
Three singles and an error led to both Sylvan Hills runs in the top of the first.
In the bottom of the inning, White walked, stole second and reached third on Pabon’s sacrifice. Burton singled him in to make it 2-1.
Sylvan Hills was retired in order in the top of the second and Bryant surged into the lead in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Thompson walked, Ham was hit by a pitch and Greiner drew a free pass to load the bases.
Hatman walked to force in a run. An errant throw and a wild pitch allowed three runs to score, making it 4-2.
Hatman set down Sylvan Hills 1-2-3 in the top of the third and Bryant added a run to the advantage. J.T. Parker drew a one-out walk then raced to third on Morrow’s single to left. Morrow stole second and on an errant throw, Parker scored.
The first batter Greiner faced reached on a third-strike wild pitch but then next three were retired, leading to Bryant’s game-busting 12-run fifth.
Myles walked, White was struck by a pitch and Pabon sacrificed. A walk to Burton filled the sacks. With two down, Myles scored on a wild pitch. Morrow followed with a liner that looked like it might end the inning, but it was misplayed. Two runs scored.
That led to Cade Parker’s inside-the-park homer on a fly that burned the centerfielder.
The inning revved up again when Thompson singled and consecutive walks were issued to Ham, Greiner, Myles, Prather, Pabon and Burton. J.T. Parker’s single to left made it 15-2 then Morrow singled in a run and Cade Parker walked to make it a 15-after-three run-rule win.