MEMPHIS — Right-hander Brayden Lester surrendered a pair runs in the first inning but shut out Legends Baseball the rest of the way, making a three-run rally in the second by the Bryant Black Sox Junior American Legion team hold up for a victory this morning.
The game was originally scheduled for Friday as the Sox played in the 17-and-under division of the annual Keith Hagan Memorial Tournament in the Memphis area but was rained out along with a contest against Team East, which was set to be made up this afternoon at 4.
The Sox are scheduled to play Hill Co. Reds on Tuesday.
The win over Legends was the first of the event for Bryant, which opened Saturday with a 1-0 loss to Extreme Elite and a 6-2 setback against Travelers Select. On Sunday, they absorbed a 3-1 loss to the Houston Mustangs.
Bryant 3, Legends 2
Lester scattered six hits without a walk and struck out three. The two-run first included a one-out single and a two-out base hit that produced the first run. A double made it 2-0 before Lester got the third out on a grounder to Coby Greiner at short.
After being set down in order in the bottom of the first, the Sox and Lester made quick work of Legends in the second.
In the home second, Christian Harp was hit by a pitch with one out. Scott Schmidt singled and, with two down, Ryan Lessenberry kept the uprising alive with a looping single to right. That brought up Lester who singled in the first run. A walk to Grayson Prince tied it 2-2.
And when Logan Catton singled in courtesy runner Konnor Clontz, the Sox not only had the lead but had posted the final score.
Legends went three-up and three-down in the third as part of a stretch in which Lester and the Sox defense retired 12 in a row. A two-out single in the top of the fifth interrupted the string but the next batter popped out to Lessenberry the Bryant catcher.
The only other Legends base-runners came in the top of the seventh on a lead-off single. Lessenberry threw him out trying to steal and, after another foul pop, a singled to left was negated when the final out was made on a pop to Harp at third.
The Sox threatened in the third when Sharp and Greiner each singled to no avail. Schmidt was hit by a pitch with two down in the fifth and Greiner followed with his second hit before the third out was recorded.
Lester led off the sixth with his second hit but Legends turned an inning-ending doubleplay.
Houston 3, Bryant 1
The Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first. Schmidt walked but was forced at second on a grounder by Jake Wright. Brandon Hoover singled Wright to second and he scored from there on Prince’s single to center. Hoover was thrown out trying to score as well, ending the inning.
The Mustangs took the lead with two in the bottom of the inning and tacked on an insurance run in the home third.
Catton and Schmidt each singled in the top of the third but were stranded. Catton added a two-out hit in the fifth for the last of Bryant’s knocks. In the top of the seventh, Greiner was hit by a pitch with one out but a doubleplay ended the game.
Travelers Select 6, Bryant 2
A five-run first by the Travelers proved too much for the Black Sox to overcome. It took until the fourth for the Sox to scratch out a run. Wright was drilled to lead-off the inning. Hoover’s single to right sent Wright to third and he scored when Prince grounded into a force at second, beating the relay to first to avoid the inning-ending doubleplay.
Greiner singled but the Travelers retired the next two to keep it 5-1.
Select got that run back in the fifth and the game was 6-1 until the top of the seventh. With two away, Schmidt doubled. Walks to Wright and Hoover loaded the bases. Prince was plunked for an RBI. That brought the potential tying run to the plate but the game ended on a strikeout.
Extreme Elite 1, Bryant 0
Greiner tossed a six-hitter, walking two and striking out four while the Sox were held to just four hits, one each from Greiner, Schmidt, Clontz and Prince, by Elite’s Zach Craabel who walked one and struck out four.
The lone run scored in the first. With two out, Elite had singles on either side of a hit batsman to produce it.
In the bottom of the inning, Matthew Sandidge walked and Schmidt singled but Kraabel retired the next three.
Greiner led off the second with a single but was stranded. Bryant’s fifth started with Clontz’ single but he was caught stealing before Catton bounced out to second and Prince singled. Prince stole second but then inning ended when Sandidge flew to center.
Greiner pitched around a two-out single and a walk in the top of the sixth but the only base-runner Bryant could manage over the final two frames was when Clontz was struck by a delivery with two out in the seventh. He was nabbed trying to steal to end the game.