Bryant Junior team bounces back with romp at Pine Bluff
EDITOR’S NOTE: In this time of COVID-19, with no sports action, BryantDaily.com will be posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By Rob Patrick
PINE BLUFF — After a disappointing loss at home to Sheridan on Monday, the Bryant Black Sox Junior American Legion team met for a long time with coaches Jimmy Parker and Jason Thompson. It was a game they felt like they should’ve won but uncharacteristic mistakes undermined their effort.
On Tuesday, the Sox bounced back at Taylor Field with a 17-4 clubbing of the Pine Bluff National Bank Junior squad.
“Attitudes,” declared Parker. “We had some talks and we’ve still got some adjusting to do. We need leaders. We don’t need fingers to be pointed, we need leaders and that’s what we’re going to work at getting. It’s not there yet by any stretch but they’re all great kids and we’re going to get there.”
Six of the Bryant starters were 15-year-olds Tuesday night and they accounted for 12 of the team’s 15 hits including three by catcher Zach Graddy. Chase Tucker drove in three runs and blasted his first American Legion home run, ironically, over the Pine Bluff National Bank sign on the wall in left-center. C.J. Phillips, in his first Legion game, had two hits as did Trevor Ezell and Marcus Wilson.
“They came out and wanted to have fun and play,” Parker said of his younger team. “I’m proud of them. They came over here and they’re not worried about anything. They just see it and hit it. They’re having fun and they’re giving all they’ve got and that’s all I can ask them to do. It’s fun seeing them out here playing hard.”
Tryce Schalchlin went the distance on the mound for the victory and helped himself with four RBIs. All four Pine Bluff runs were unearned. Along with three of the Bankers’ hits, they all scored in the first inning. After that, Schalchlin allowed just one hit over the final four frames.
The bottom of the first began with a single by Landon Reed. He advanced on a wild pitch then held as Chris Bryan’s grounder to third was misplayed. Another miscue loaded the bases. Reed scored when Clay Cannon grounded into a force at second then Bryan came in when Cash Arcement did the same thing, beating the relay to first to avoid an inning-ending doubleplay.
Chris Smith then doubled and Justin McCarty followed with a two-run single to make it 4-0.
Pine Bluff’s only other hit came in the fourth inning, a double by Colton Reynolds just moments after Tristan Matthews made a sprawling catch on the run at the base of the wall on a drive by McCarty. After the double, Tucker raced into the gap in right-center to rob Percy Arnold of an extra-base hit then Wilson tracked down a drive to left-center to end the inning with Reynolds stranded at third.
Bryant answered Pine Bluff’s four-run first with an eight-run eruption in the second to gain the upper hand. A one-out single by Graddy started the merry-go-round on the basepaths. Phillips grounded a single to left and Austin Caldwell did the same to load the bags for Korey Thompson who beat out an infield hit to drive in the first run.
Pine Bluff starter Hunter Hale walked Ezell to force in the second run and the right-hander was lifted in favor of Adam Law. Wilson greeted the new hurler with a shot to center for an RBI single that made it 4-3.
With two down, Schalchlin found the gap in left-center to drive in all three runners. The double gave Bryant the lead for good. And, moments later, on a 2-2 delivery, Tucker unloaded to make it 8-4.
The Sox put it in run-rule territory with a lot of help in the fourth inning. Ezell drew a lead-off walk and Wilson pulled a base hit to left. That’s when the strike zone became elusive for the Pine Bluff hurlers. Law walked Cody Gogus and Schalchlin to force in a run. And, after he gave way to Arnold, Tucker picked up an RBI with a free pass. Graddy got a strike on the first pitch and slapped it to right for an RBI single then Phillips walked to force in yet another run, making it 12-4.
A grounder by Caldwell resulted in a force at second as Tucker scored and when Thompson took a base on balls, Arnold was pulled in favor of Reynolds who proceeded to walk Ezell — the third free pass for the lead-off man — sending Phillips home to make it 13-4.
More scoring commenced in the top of the fifth when Tucker cracked a double in right-center then Graddy, Phillips and Matthews singled with Phillips picking up his second run batted in. Thompson drove in a run with a bouncer to short then Ezell put the finishing touches on the onslaught with an RBI single to center.
Schalchlin retired the first two batters in the bottom of the inning before a walk and an error put a pair runners aboard. But he got Smith to bounced out to Thompson at second to wrap it up.
The Sox, now 11-2-1, were scheduled to play a doubleheader at Benton on Wednesday but those games were postponed when the Benton team took Bryant’s place in the Peoples Bank wood bat tournament in Sheridan starting Thursday. So, the Sox’ next outing is set for Monday, June 20, when they’ll host Jonesboro in a doubleheader.
BRYANT 17, PINE BLUFF NATIONAL BANK 4
Junior American Legion
Black Sox ab r h bi Bankers ab r h bi
Ezell, ss 2 2 2 3 Reed, 3b-ss 3 1 1 0
Wilson, lf 5 2 2 1 Bryan, 2b 1 1 0 0
Gogus, 3b 3 1 0 0 Stewart, rf 1 0 0 0
Schalchlin, p 3 2 1 4 Brown, cf 3 0 0 0
Tucker, cf 3 3 2 3 Cannon, 1b-p 1 0 0 1
Graddy, c 4 0 3 1 Arcement, lf 3 1 0 1
Matthews, cr 0 1 0 0 Smith, rf-1b 3 1 1 0
Caldwell, cr 0 1 0 0 McCarty, c 2 0 1 2
Phillips, 1b 3 3 2 2 Hale, p-ss 1 0 0 0
Caldwell, rf 3 1 1 1 Reynolds, p-2b 1 0 1 0
Matthews, rf 1 0 1 0 Law, ss-p 1 0 0 0
Thompson, 2b 3 1 1 2 Arnold, p-3b 1 0 0 0
Totals 30 17 15 17 Totals 21 4 4 4
BRYANT 080 63 — 17
Pine Bluff 400 00 — 4
E—Gogus 2, Thompson. LOB—Bryant 6, Pine Bluff 5. 2B—Smith, Schalchlin, Reynolds, Tucker. HR—Tucker.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Schalchlin (W) 5 4 0 4 3 2
Hale (L) 1.1 5 5 5 1 1
Law 1.2 7 7 4 3 1
Arnold 0.1 2 2 1 3 0
Reynolds 0.2 0 0 0 1 0
Law faced four batters in the fourth.