Photos by Kevin Nagle
By Rob Patrick
Tre Davis started Wednesday’s game lending a helping hand to the eight players available to the[more] Ashdown Junior American Legion team then finished the night securing its defeat.
In order to play the game, Bryant Sport Shop Black Sox coach Seth Doxey agreed to supply a ninth player for Ashdown until another players showed up. So when Ashdown took the field in the bottom of the first, Davis came out of the Bryant dugout and trotted out to right field. As it turned out, he wound up retiring a pair of his real teammates on flyballs to right. He also went 2 for 2 at the plate for the visitors before Josh Reynolds showed up to get ready for the second game of the night and took over for Davis in the bottom of the fifth inning.
A four-run third inning provided the Sox with a 5-2 lead behind starting pitcher Nick Kehrees and, when the game went to the top of the seventh, Davis took over on the mound for Bryant and earned a save by retiring the side in order with two strikeouts.
Jordan Gentry went 3 for 3 to lead the Sox. Bailey Bowers provided a key hit with a two-run double in the third as the Sox improved to 6-4 going into a doubleheader at home on Saturday against Genoa Central.
Ashdown finished with six hits against Kehrees, who was making his first appearance on the mound. Two of them belonged to Davis and two were struck by Austin Bearden.
Sport Shop grabbed a 1-0 lead in the opening frame with Davis figuring into the action. Kehrees worked a one-out walk and stole second. Gentry followed with a bloop single to right that Davis charged and grabbed on a hop. Kehrees had to hold up at second to make sure the ball would get down so Davis came up firing towards third.
It was a strong throw but just a little off target, getting past Ashdown third baseman Hunter Currence and allowing Kehrees to score.
But any concern Ashdown may have felt about having Davis in right were dispelled when he ran down Bowers’ fly to right to end the first. Then, with one out in the third, Davis rapped a single to center and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
As he had in the first two innings, Kehrees worked around the hit to keep it 1-0.
In the bottom of the inning, Dakota Besancon singled to left and advanced to second on Kehrees’ swinging bunt to the left of the mound. A wild pitch allowed Besancon to take third and he scored on Gentry’s bunt single.
The inning escalated when Hunter Oglesby’s hot grounder to short went through the wickets of Ashdown’s Briar Reed. Gentry hustled to third and, on a late throw there, Oglesby slid safely into second. That’s when Bowers stepped in and drilled a double to left-center to make it 4-0. And when he stole third and drew an errant throw, it was 5-0.
Ashdown got its two runs in the top of the fourth. A walk to Ty Cobb (yes, that was his name) and another to Levi Harger set the table for Bearden, who doubled in a run. Currence hit a liner to right that Oglesby charged in to catch. Harger, thinking the ball was going to drop in for a hit, took off for home and got too far to get back as Oglesby threw into Weston Jones at third for a doubleplay.
A pitch later, however, J.W. Barber singled in Bearden to make it 5-2. That was all Ashdown would get, though, as Kehrees got Quinn Mitchell to fly out to Devon Fuquay in center to end the uprising.
Davis then led off the fifth with a single but that proved to be the last hit for Ashdown. A doubleplay ended the inning as Kehrees induced a comebacker to the mound. He would work around a lead-off walk to Cobb in the sixth then turn it over to Davis in the seventh. Ironically, the game ended with Davis striking out Reynolds, his replacement in the Ashdown lineup.
The Sox only added a pair of hits themselves after the tale-tell third. Gentry got his third hit in the fifth and Jones singled up the middle in the sixth.
BRYANT SPORT SHOP 5, ASHDOWN JUNIOR 2
Ashdown ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi
Reed, ss 3 0 0 0 Besancon, c 3 1 1 0
Cross, cf 3 0 1 0 Kehrees, p 2 1 0 0
Cobb, c 1 1 0 0 Davis, p 0 0 0 0
Harger, p 2 0 0 0 Gentry, ss 3 1 3 1
Bearden, lf 3 1 2 1 Oglesby, rf 3 1 0 0
Currence, 3b 3 0 0 0 Bowers, 2b 3 1 1 2
Barber, 1b 3 0 1 1 Plunkett, lf 1 0 1 0
Mitchell, 2b 3 0 0 0 Martindale, lf 1 0 0 0
Davis, rf 2 0 2 0 Jones, 3b 3 0 1 0
Reynolds, rf 1 0 0 0 Kincaid, 1b 3 0 0 0
Fuquay, cf 3 0 0 0
Totals 24 2 6 2 Totals 25 5 7 3
Ashdown 000 200 0 — 2
BRYANT 104 000 0 — 5
E—Davis, Reed, Cobb. DP—Bryant 2. LOB—Ashdown 4, Bryant 4. 2B—Bowers, Bearden. SB—Cross, Kehrees, Plunkett 2, Jones.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Harger (L) 6 5 2 7 2 2
Kehrees (W) 6 2 2 6 3 0
Davis (S) 1 0 0 0 0 2
WP—Harger 3, Kehrees 2.