CABOT — The Everett Black Sox of Bryant will play for the Junior American Legion State[more] Tournament championship on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., against Jacksonville Gwatney Chevrolet. They will have two chances to get the one win they need for the title as the lone unbeaten team in the tournament.
On Monday, the Sox ousted host Cabot Centennial Bank, 2-1, as Dakota Besancon out-dueled Cabot’s tough lefty Gavin Tillery after Jacksonville had eliminated the Little Rock Cobras.
All four teams will advance to the Junior Legion Regional Tournament in Bryant starting this Friday. As the host team, Bryant is tentatively set to play Saturday morning at 9 against one of two teams from Texas. The tourney will also feature State champions from Alabama and Kentucky.
Cabot, Little Rock and Jacksonville will play on Friday.
All three runs in the Bryant-Cabot game were unearned and scored in the fourth inning. Cabot broke the ice when Adam Hicks reached second on a one-out error. Brandon Jones’ grounder to third was booted then Tillery singled in Hicks before the Sox got out of the inning with a doubplay.
Up to that point, Besancon had allowed just one base-runner on a one-out single by Chris Odom in the first. The next nine were retired.
The Sox answered with a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning that also began with an error, as Bailey Bowers reached base. Connor Tatum followed with a shot to the fence in center for an RBI triple. Three pitches later, he put the Sox ahead when Jordan Gentry’s grounder to third was misplayed.
Tillery had pitched out of trouble in the first when Drew Tipton and Dalton Holt cracked singled and, with one out, Blake Patterson walked. But a strikeout and a force out kept Bryant off the board, part of a string of 10 hitters the lefty set down.
The Sox threatened in the sixth with another two-base error, which allowed Hunter Oglesby to reach and a base hit by Bowers. But when Oglesby tried to tag and score on Tatum’s fly to right, he was caught trying to get back to third and tagged out to end the inning.
Cabot had even less luck with Besancon and the Bryant defense, which settled down after the error-plagued fourth. Dalton Hurst reached on a third-strike wild pitch to start the fifth but the Sox turned their second doubleplay in as many innings to get him off the bases. Besancon struck out Tyler Gilbert to end the inning.
With one out in the sixth, the Bryant hurler hit Odom with a pitch but he then retired the last five batters in a row including a game-ending strikeout of Hurst.
The Sox improved to 32-1 on the season. With a win on Tuesday, they’ll become the first Bryant Junior team to win a State title.