OMAHA, Neb. — The Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team broke up a scoreless[more] game with three runs in the top of the fourth then scored in every inning thereafter on the way to a 7-2 victory over O’Fallon, Ill., Thursday.
The game was the first in pool play for both teams at the 2013 Battle of Omaha 19U. The Sox, now 12-1-1, take on the Niwot, Colo., Twins today at 9 a.m., then face a team from Huron, S.D., at 11:30 a.m.
Zach Jackson and Tryce Schalchlin combined to limit O’Fallon to just five hits. Each Bryant pitcher surrendered a run but combined for force the Illinois team to strand seven.
Offensively, Cody Gogus had three hits. Marcus Wilson and Korey Thompson added two each.
The Sox still had no runs and no hits two-outs deep into the fourth inning. But a walk to Hayden Daniel and an error that allowed Chase Tucker to reach base sparked the three-run uprising. Gogus came through with the team’s first hit driving in Daniel. Thompson followed with a two-run double.
Bryant made a bid to add a run when Trevor Ezell singled but the relay cut down Thompson at the plate to end the inning.
Jackson had pitched around a walk in the first, an error and a single in the second and then worked a 1-2-3 third. He retired the first batter in the bottom of the fourth but a double set up the first run. The batter moved up on a grounder to the right side then a two-out walk gave O’Fallon a chance. They worked a double steal to get the run in before Jackson induced a fly to Wilson in left to keep it 3-1.
A one-out walk to Tyler Nelson and a double from Hayden Lessenberry set the stage for an RBI hit by Wilson and, after Daniel walked, Gogus swatted a two-out RBI single to make it 5-1.
O’Fallon threatened to score again in the fifth after Jackson had retired the first two batters of the frame. A single and an error had runners at second and third. Schalchlin relieved and got the next batter to fly to right.
Ezell was plunked by a pitch for the second time in the game as he led off the top of the sixth. He advanced to second on a passed ball and when Ozzie Hurt’s grounder to short was booted, the Sox had runners at the corners. Hurt left early on a steal attempt, drew a throw to second and Ezell sprinted home to beat a return toss.
A pair of singles and a groundout produced O’Fallon’s second run in the bottom of the sixth but Schalchlin struck out two to end the inning then started the seventh with a third K on his way to retiring the side in order.
The Sox had tacked on a final run in the top of the seventh when Wilson tripled and scored on Daniel’s sacrifice fly.