CONWAY — Will McEntire pitched five scoreless innings while helping his teammates compile a 5-0 lead on the Prospects travel team in the first game of pool play at the Mid America Tournament on Thursday afternoon at Hendrix College.
McEntire helped his own cause with a pair of hits and three runs batted in. Peyton Dillon added a double and a triple with two RBIs on the way to Bryant’s 5-2 win.
The Sox are scheduled to play another pool game on Friday at 1:15 p.m., at Joe T. Robinson High School in Little Rock.
The Prospects rallied in the bottom of the sixth, plating both their runs. Logan Catton relieved McEntire and got out of the inning, then finished the game off for a save.
Bryant grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning. With one out, Konnor Clontz beat out an infield hit. Though he was forced at second on Logan Chambers’ bouncer, Coby Greiner kept the inning going with a lined single to right. Dillon was struck by a pitch, loading the bases for McEntire who grounded a single up the middle to drive in both Chambers and Greiner.
The Prospects threatened in the bottom of the inning, with a lead-off walk and a single and an error. But McEntire struck out the next two batters and induced a grounder to Clontz at short to escape.
The Bryant right-hander worked around a two-out hit batsman in the second and an error and a single in the third. Between them, however, the first baserunner was thrown out trying to steal by catcher Ryan Lessenberry.
Dillon’s triple started the top of the fourth. McEntire singled him in to make it 3-0. Lessenberry walked and Cade Dupree got a sacrifice bunt down to put two in scoring position but they were stranded.
After the Prospects were retired in order in the home fourth, the Sox added on in the top of the fifth. Clontz walked and, with one out, Greiner was plunked by a pitch. Dillon yanked a liner to left for a two-run double. Though he was thrown out at third trying to stretch it for his second triple, the Sox had their 5-0 lead.
They made a bid to get more in the inning as walks were issued to McEntire and Lessenberry. Dupree shot a single to left. Jacob Coppock, in to run for the pitcher, tried to score but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
McEntire pitched around a lead-off single in the bottom of the fifth, recording his fifth strikeout along the way. In the sixth, an error opened the door for the Prospects. A single and a sacrifice had runners at second and third. A sacrifice fly made it 5-1 then a balk allowed a second run to score.
The next batter grounded out to Dillon at third but a walk kept the Prospects’ prospects alive. Catton came on in relief and ended the inning with a strikeout.
In the seventh, a lead-off walk gave the Prospects some hope of a really but Catton got the next batter to fly out to Brayden Lester in left. The game ended when the next batter lined out to Clontz at short. He fired to McEntire at first for a doubleplay.