By Rob Patrick
The Everett Black Sox of Bryant have advanced to the winners bracket final of the 2013 Junior American Legion Regional Tournament at Bryant High School Field, by scoring 11 runs each against a pair of opponents on Saturday.
To accommodate the event’s banquet on Friday night, Bryant’s tourney-opening game against Atlanta, Texas, was moved to 9 a.m. on Saturday. And with heavy rain overnight, that time was set back to 10 as those working on the field, got it ready by starting on it at 5:30 a.m.
Taking advantage of 10 walks and seven errors, the Sox surged past Atlanta, 11-2, breaking up a 3-2 game with six runs on just one hit in the bottom of the fifth.
That was the first game of the day. In the last, Bryant took advantage of eight walks and five miscues, cracking 10 hits, on the way to an 11-1 run-rule win over Jonesboro Armor Seed, a late entry in the tournament when a team from Alabama had to bow out.
In other games on Saturday, the Texarkana, Texas, Tigers overcame an impressive comeback by Paducah, Ky., to win 14-13 in nine innings. Cabot Centennial Bank then eliminated Atlanta, Texas, 7-2. In a winners bracket grudge match, the Little Rock Post 1 Cobras edged Jacksonville Gwatney Chevrolet 2-0 behind the pitching of Geoff Flemmons.
On Sunday, Cabot and Jacksonville square off at 1 p.m., followed by another elimination contest between Texarkana, Texas and Jonesboro at 4 p.m. The Sox will take on the Cobras in the winners bracket final at around 7. Bryant, now 35-1, absorbed its lone loss against the Little Rock team at the District Tournament.
Bryant 11, Jonesboro 1
Blake Patterson shut out Armor Seed on two hits over four innings. He fanned seven and walked just one. Jonesboro had a man reach second only once. That came in the third when Gavin Stone blooped a single to right and, after Patterson struck out the next two, Tyler Cole worked a walk after fouling off a trio of two-strike pitches.
The Sox jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first, ignited by the first of Drew Tipton’s two doubles. He would also single and walk and score four times.
Evan Lee followed Tipton’s first double with a walk. The two worked a double-steal and when Tipton drew an errant throw to third, he scored and Lee wound up at third. A wild pitch would get Lee home to make it 2-0.
The inning continued with Hunter Oglesby earning a walk. Connor Tatum pulled a single into right that was misplayed as Oglesby scored to make it 3-0.
In the second, Brandan Warner beat out a bunt single. And when his bunt was fielded by third baseman Austin Bethune, a wild throw allowed him to raced to third. Tipton doubled him in to make it 4-0.
Dalton Holt’s pop to shallow right was misplayed by Jonesboro’s second baseman Reed Fishbacher. And, after he swiped second, Patterson drove a double to left-center to chase home a pair. He would make it too when Tatum drilled a bad-hop single.
Warner started the third with a looping single to right. Tipton slapped a base hit the other way then Holt got a sacrifice bunt down. Warner rounded third and tried to score but the relay home by Jonesboro first baseman Trey Hall was in time for the first out of the inning.
With Tipton at third, Evan Lee hit a bouncer to second that drew a wild throw to first to extend the inning as Tipton scored. With Lee on second, Patterson walked then Oglesby laced a double inside the bag at third, making it 10-0.
After Patterson finished up his day on the mound by striking out the side in the fourth, Tipton drew a one-out walk and appeared to be picked off by Storm Parks but he took off towards second and made it in time. With two down, Lee singled him home.
Bryant 11, Atlanta, Texas 2
A pitcher’s duel between Bryant’s Harrison Dale and Atlanta’s Clayton Jaynes was tied 1-1 after three.
With a 3-2 lead, Bryant scored six times in the fifth and twice more in the sixth to blow the game up. The Sox got those eight runs on just one hit, a lead-off single in the fifth by Holt.
They had taken the lead in the second when Tatum beat out an infield hit and, with two down, Warner hit a fly to center that was misplayed.
In the top of the third, Atlanta’s Bryan Kemp doubled with two away. Jaynes singled him home to tie it.
Dale had an RBI single in the fourth. It came after Devin Dupree walked and advanced on an errant pickoff. Oglesby singled but it was a wild pitch that got Dupree home. With two down, Warner cracked a seeing-eye single to make it 3-1.
Atlanta managed a run in the top of the fifth. Blake Burns was hit by a pitch, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Bryan Kemp then scored on a grounder to second by Jaynes.
That led to the six-run debacle in the bottom of the fifth.