Photos courtesy of Cindy Jackson and Diane Dupree
HOT SPRINGS — Bryant’s Junior American Legion team, the Everett Black Sox, with a[more] 17-and-under roster, knocked off two AA teams, the 18-and-under Hot Springs Lakeside squad and the 19-and-under Pangburn team, to capture the championship of the second annual Ryan White Memorial Day tournament Monday.
The Sox had posted a 3-0 record in their pool over the weekend in Bryant, including a 7-5 win over Pangburn to advance to bracket play at Lakeside on Monday. They finished off with an 11-2 win over Lakeside in the semifinals then knocked off Pangburn again in thrilling fashion, rallying for four runs in the sixth to tie the game then winning it in the bottom of the second, 6-5. Harrison Dale’s sacrifice fly scored Brandan Warner with the game winner.
Bryant’s Devin Dupree was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
“Devin had three outings in four days (on the mound),” noted Sox coach Tyler Brown. “I think he went 3-for-7 for the tournament with three RBI's.
“Really, everybody stepped up and competed all seven innings of each game,” Brown added. “I was very proud of the guys for that. Our pitching was excellent all weekend long. It was a great team effort all the way around.”
Bryant was scheduled to play at North Little Rock today but the game was cancelled due to finals. The Sox will open play in a tournament in Jacksonville on Wednesday at 7:45 p.m., against a team from Cabot. Pool play will resume for Bryant at Jacksonville on Friday at 7:45 p.m., against Conway then concluded with a 6 p.m. game on Saturday against Jacksonville. Bracket play for the championship will be on Sunday, starting at 2 p.m.
Bryant 6, Pangburn 5
Pangburn took a 1-0 lead in the first on a walk, a stolen base, a passed ball and a one-out double by J.R. Miller. After that, Sox starter Bailey Bowers retired 12 of the next 13 batters he faced, surrendering only a one-out walk in the third.
Bryant, meanwhile, had runners on base in every inning. In the first, Drew Tipton walked, Dalton Holt singled and, with one out, Blake Patterson grounded into a force at second that allowed Tipton to get to third. But he was stranded.
In the third, the Sox loaded the bases when Jason Gentry singled and Holt walked. Evan Lee bounced into a force at second but Patterson reached, filling the bags. But Pangburn wriggled off the hook.
In the fourth, however, Dupree singled, Dale sacrificed him to second and Connor Tatum got him to third with a tap to the right side. So when Gentry reached on an error, Dupree scored to tie the game 1-1.
Bowers retired the first batter of the top of the fifth but Alec Bourgeois walked. Colby Crossen singled and another walk loaded the bases for Josh Roach who singled in two. Miller knocked in a pair and, suddenly, the Sox were down 5-1.
Tipton relieved for Bryant and got the final out of the inning. He proceeded to retire all seven batters he faced to close out the game as the Sox made the plays on defense.
But it took some late-inning heroics at the plate as well. The Sox were unable to score in the bottom of the fifth but, after Tipton set down the side in the top of the sixth, they rallied. Bowers singled to get the inning started. Walks to Dale and Tatum followed to load the bases. Pangburn got the first out of the inning when Gentry’s grounder resulted in a force at the plate.
The wildness returned for the Pangburn pitcher. Tipton walked to force in a run then so did Holt. Lee grounded into a force at second, beating the rap at first to avoid the inning-ending doubleplay so when Tipton scrambled home on a passed ball, the game was tied.
In the seventh, Warner led off with a single and moved up on Bowers’ grounder. A wild pitch allowed him to take third before Dale produced the game-winning sacrifice fly.
Bryant 11, Lakeside 2
Dale and Dupree combined to toss a four-hitter. Lakeside scored two runs in the fourth, one earned after the Sox had built a 3-0 lead with single runs in the first three frames. A two-run fifth extended the advantage then, in the top of the seventh, the Sox added six to make it a rout.
Tipton, Holt and Patterson each had two hits in the game.
The Sox grabbed a 1-0 lead in the opening inning when Tipton singled and Holt sacrificed him to second. Tipton stole third then scored on Lee’s sacrifice fly.
In the second, Dale walked, took second on a wild pitch, third on Gentry’s groundout and scored on a passed ball.
Holt singled to start the top of the third. Patterson added a one-out hit and when Warner reached on an error, Holt scored.
Dale, meanwhile, didn’t allow a hit until the third. He worked around his own error in the first and a pair of singles in that third.
In the home fourth, a hit batsman and a single set the table for Lakeside’s scoring. A sacrifice sent runners to second and third before a wild pitch allowed the first run to score. The second runner was cut down trying to score on a grounder. There was a delay when one of the umpires was injured and, when it concluded, Dupree came on to take over on the mound. A wild pitch and an error produced the second run before he ended the uprising with a strikeout, forcing Lakeside to strand runners at second and third.
Bryant got two runs back in the top of the fifth. Holt singled to get the inning going, advancing on Lee’s groundout. Walks to Patterson and Warner loaded the bases and Holt scored when Bowers reached on an unsuccessful fielder’s choice.
Patterson was thrown out at the plate on Dale’s grounder to third but, Warner scored when Tatum drew a bases-loaded the walk.
Dupree hit a batter to start the bottom of the fifth but the Sox turned the first of two doubleplays to take the starch out of Lakeside’s comeback plans.
Dupree issued a lead-off walk, but Bowers threw the runner out trying to steal. Dupree set down the next two to send it to the seventh.
The Sox had been retired in order in the sixth but Patterson opened the seventh with a double. Warner reached on an error as Patterson scored and, after Bowers was hit by a pitch, Dale got a sacrifice bunt down sending runners to second and third for Tatum, who delivered an RBI single. Dupree knocked in a run with a hit and Tipton doubled to drive home a pair. He would steal third as Holt was waiting out a walk. Lee’s sacrifice fly made it 11-2.
A single, an error and a walk allowed Lakeside to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning but the Sox turned another doubleplay to end the game.