MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After 17 wins in a row including an unbeaten run through five pool play at the annual Keith Hagan Memorial All-America Classic, the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team had to wait our rain cancellations on Monday and Tuesday. To conclude the event, the bracket play was cancelled on Monday and Tuesday and the two teams with the best pool records met for championship today.
Five unearned runs in the first inning put the Sox under the gun then it didn’t help that starting pitcher Alex Shurtleff was hit in the head with a line drive. Thankfully, Shurtleff will apparently be fine but the Sox were no doubt shaken.
The Memphis Tigers (Sweeney) added two unearned runs in the third inning on the way to a 9-1 win and the championship of “The Hagan” at the Sox’ expense.
“Not a good way to end a long week,” stated Bryant manager Darren Hurt.
Now 20-4 on the season, Bryant returns to league play on Tuesday, July 11, with a trip to Texarkana. They’ll host the Little Rock Vipers the next night before heading to a tournament in Springfield, Mo., July 13.
The Sox managed just six hits against a trio of Memphis pitchers. Their lone run was in the bottom of the fifth but, with just one scoring the game ended with the 8-after-5 run rule.
Seth Tucker, Jake East, Dylan Hurt, Brandon Hoover, Myers Buck and Matthew Sandidge had Bryant’s hits. Sandidge scored on a groundout by Buck. With two down, Tucker doubled but was stranded as the game concluded.
In the five-run first, Memphis had two on and two out. What looked like it might be the third out, turned into the second error of the inning, producing the first run. Dalton Rushing doubled in two, Dawson Williams singled in a run then Davis Shackelford doubled to make it 5-0.
Shurtleff retired the first two in the top of the second but the second out came at his expense as the ball ricocheted off his head to Tucker at third, who got the out. After he was tended to and brought to the dugout, Buck came on in relief and, after a walk and an error put a man on third, he ended the inning with a strikeout.
The Sox had been set down in order in the bottom of the first. In the second, Hurt singled, took second on a balk and made it to third on a single by Hoover. But Sandidge lined into a doubleplay to end the inning.
The only two earned runs in the game that the Tigers managed came to start the third when, after a walk to Austin Baskin, Rushing ripped a home run. Buck settled in and retired the next two and, once again, appeared to be out of the inning when Logan Bland’s ground ball drew a wild throw to first. Moments later, Kyle Ginn slugged a homer to make it 9-1.
A Memphis error with one out in the bottom of the third gave the Sox a chance to score as Buck reached. With two down, East yanked a double to left but both were stranded.
Neither team made much noise after that until Bryant pushed its lone run home in the bottom of the fifth.