By Rob Patrick
The Everett Black Sox Junior American Legion team got their sternest test since their 17U Battle of[more] Omaha Tournament championship when they faced Malvern National Bank on Wednesday at Bryant High School Field. The game was tied 1-1 going into the fifth but key hits by Drew Tipton and Hunter Oglesby plus an inside-the-park home run from Trey Breeding hightlighted a six-run push over the last two innings.
Lefty Evan Lee struck out 11 in six innings, allowing one run on six hits and walking just two. Zach Jackson finished up with a scoreless seventh.
The resulting 7-1 win improved the Sox to 19-0 going into Saturday’s game at noon against Hot Springs Lakeside.
Bailey Bowers, Dalton Holt and Oglesby each had two hits for the Sox. Malvern’s Christian Lee had two hits as well.
Malvern right-hander Jake Golden shackled the Sox on three hits over the first four innings, surrendering the lone run in the second when Oglesby singled, stole second and Bowers came through with a clutch RBI single with two down.
Malvern’s lone run came in the second as well after Lee had struck out the side in the first. Golden drew a lead-off walk and Logan Wright singled. TaShaun Hart bounced one up the middle that Sox second baseman Connor Tatum flagged down behind the bag. He flipped to shortstop Harrison Dale for a force. Evan Lee got up 0-2 on Christian Lee but the Malvern hitter bounced a single up the middle to drive in the run.
The Bryant pitcher came back two strike out the next two, sending it to the third. He would work around a two-out double by Trace Collie in the third and pitcher out of a jam in the fourth. An error allowed Wright to reach and Hart slapped a single to left. Lee struck out the next two including Christian Lee but a walk on a 3-2 pitch to Brooks Homan loaded the bags. Devin Carpenter followed with a lined shot that Tatum speared to end the threat.
After Lee fanned the side again in the top of the fifth, the Sox gained the lead with two in the home half. Golden retired Brandan Warner on a grounder to third to start the inning but then Bowers ripped a liner that ricocheted off Golden’s shin and rolled toward third. Bowers beat it out for a single as Golden was tended to.
He gamely continued but not as effectively. He got a strike in on Tatum, the next batter, but then the Sox second sacker ripped one into the gap in right-center for a double.
Bowers tried to score on the play but Malvern executed the relay and he was thrown out on a close play at the plate. Tatum moved up to third on the play but there were two outs.
That’s when Tipton came through, ripping a single to center to snap the tie. With Holt at the plate, Tipton stole second. When he took off to steal third, the throw from catcher T.J. Johnson got away allowing Tipton to score, making it 3-1.
The Bankers made a bid to answer in the top of the sixth. Lee retired the first two on infield grounders but Christian Lee slapped a single to right and Johnson pulled a base hit through the left side. Austin Wright came off the bench to pinch-hit for Homan, the nine-hole hitter, and, on an 0-2 pitch, hit the ball hard but right at Tatum at second. He scooped it up and threw to Devin Dupree at first to end the threat.
Golden issued his only walk of the game to Dupree to start the sixth. Dakota Besancon came on as a pinch-runner and Dale got a sacrifice bunt down. Golden moved well to field it but his throw to first was dropped. Besancon never stopped and rolled into third even though the ball only got a few feet away from Logan Wright, the first baseman.
Oglesby followed with a drive to left-center for a double. Besancon scored easily and Dale, who was on the move with the pitch, sprinted in all the way from first.
After a visit to the mound, Golden continued and got Warner to pop to short but that brought up Breeding who belted a shot to center. Hart took a step in on the play and it was an ill-fated move. Though he tried to get back and make a leaping catch, the ball cleared his glove and went to the center-field fence as Breeding legged it all the way around the bases for the crowning blow, making it 7-1.
Jackson retired the side around a one-out error in the seventh, striking out Collie along the way.
BRYANT EVERETT 7, MALVERN NATIONAL BANK 1
MNB ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi
Carpenter, 3b 5 0 0 0 Tipton, lf-rf 4 1 1 1
Williams, 2b 4 0 0 0 Holt, rf-1b 3 0 2 1
Collie, ss 4 0 1 0 E.Lee, p-lf 3 0 0 0
Golden, p 3 1 0 0 Dupree, 1b 2 0 0 0
L.Wright, 1b 3 0 1 0 Besancon, pr 0 1 0 0
Hart, cf 3 0 1 0 Jackson, p 0 0 0 0
C.Lee, lf 3 0 2 1 Dale, ss 2 1 0 0
Johnson, c 3 0 1 0 Oglesby, cf 3 2 2 2
Homan, rf 1 0 0 0 Warner, 3b 3 0 0 0
A.Wright, ph-rf 1 0 0 0 Bowers, c 2 0 2 1
Breeding, c 1 1 1 2
Tatum, 2b 3 1 1 0
Totals 29 1 6 1 Totals 26 7 9 6
Malvern 010 000 0 — 1
BRYANT 010 024 x — 7
E—Tatum, Johnson, Dale, L.Wright. LOB—Malvern 8, Bryant 3. 2B—Holt, Collie, Oglesby. HR—Breeding. SB—Oglesby, Hart, Tipton 2. S—Dale.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Golden (L) 6 7 6 9 1 0
Lee (W) 6 1 1 6 2 11
Jackson 1 0 0 0 0 1