PINE BLUFF — Having cut a 12-6 deficit to 12-10, the Bryant Black Sox had the potential tying runs on base in the top of the seventh inning when the Plainview, Texas, All-Stars recorded the final out on Sunday, advancing in the losers’ bracket of the 2019 Babe Ruth 15U Southwest Regional tournament.
The loss ended the season for the Black Sox, who, earlier in the season, had won the 15U American Legion State championship and finished runner-up at the Babe Ruth State title game. They were 16-5 overall this season.
Both of their Regional losses were at the hands of Texas teams. On Saturday, the Sox lost to Eagle Pass, Texas, which, since then, has advanced to the championship round of the tournament.
Plainview came back to play in the losers’ bracket semifinals where it lost to Tallassee, Ala., as the tournament was whittled down to the final three teams.
The Bryant 15’s, coached by Jerry East, included 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.
They broke out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of Sunday’s game. One-out walks to Burton and J.T. Parker set the table for Morrow and Cade Parker, who each singled in runs.
A base hit by Ham loaded the bases but Plainview turned a doubleplay to end the inning.
And, in the bottom of the inning, the Texas team scored three times to take the lead. A pair of Bryant errors contributed to the uprising.
Thompson led off the second with a walk and Hatman sacrificed him to second. A grounder to short by Myles led to a throw to third to nab Thompson. Two pitches later, White singled to center. A strikeout, however, ended the threat.
It stayed 3-2 until Plainview’s game-breaking six-run fourth, which included four singles, two errors, a walk and a hit batsman.
Bryant came right back to whittle on the 9-2 lead. Thompson doubled to right with one out, advanced to third on a grounder to the right side by Hatman then scored on a wild pitch as Myles was drew a walk.
White doubled to left then two runs scored when Burton’s grounder to second was misplayed.
With Burton at second, J.T. Parker ripped an RBI double to center to make it 9-6.
A walk to Morrow and an infield hit by Cade Parker loaded the sacks but all three were stranded.
Plainview answered with a three-run uprising in the bottom of the fourth on a walk, two singles and a double.
In the fifth, the Sox were unable to take advantage of a one-out single by Thompson. In the sixth, White led off with a single but was stranded.
A two-out rally in the top of the seventh gave Bryant a chance. A walk to Pabon then another to Thompson set up the inning. Prather was hit by a pitch to load the bases then Myles drew another free pass to force in a run. White waited out an RBI walk to make it 12-8 then Burton was plunked, and it was 12-9. A passed ball allowed Myles to score and it was 12-10.
But the hit the Sox needed did not come as Plainview held on.