OMAHA, Neb. — The Bryant Everett Black Sox Junior American Legion team eased to victory in both of its[more] initial pool play games at the annual Battle of Omaha 17U tournament on Thursday. Opening against the host team for their pool, Omaha Bellevue West, the Sox got one-hit shutout pitching from Harrison Dale over the first four innings and finish with a 9-1 win. They followed up against a team from Glendale, Mo., scoring in each of their four at-bat including seven times in the third on the way to a 15-2 run-rule win.
Bryant will continue pool play today at 10:30 a.m., against Fossil Ridge of Fort Collins, Colo., then against the St. Louis Redbirds at 1 p.m.
Bryant 9, Bellevue West 1
Dale retired the first seven batters he faced before giving up a single with one out in the third. Then set down five in a row before a trio of singles in the fifth produced the lone Bellevue run. Another potential run was cut down at the plate on a nice relay from Evan Lee in center to shortstop Connor Tatum to catcher Ben Bowers.
Offensively, the Sox took advantage of nine walks and three hit batsmen with eight hits, earning a run rule win with twice in the bottom of the fifth. Dalton Holt and Blake Patterson each had two hits. Patterson was on base all four times he came to the plate.
The Sox took the lead in the bottom of the first when Holt singled, Lee was hit by a pitch and, after an error moved Holt to third and Patterson walked, Devin Dupree hit a blooper to left. The runners held to see if it would fall in. When it did, Holt scrambled home but Lee was forced out trying to move up to third. Patterson and Dupree worked a double steal but both were stranded.
In the second, Hunter Oglesby drew a walk and stole second. Two outs later, Tatum drew a free pass and Holt singled in a run. Lee’s grounder to short was misplayed allowing Tatum to score and when Patterson walked and Dupree was hit by a delivery, it forced in Holt to make it 4-0.
Oglesby started the third with a single and, an out later, Gentry cracked a base hit to left. Tatum walked and, with two down, so did Lee, forcing in a run. Patterson then singled in Gentry to increase the margin to 6-0.
In the home fourth, Bowers walked and Brandan Warner singled. Both moved up on a passed ball as Tatum walked and Holt picked up an RBI when he was struck by a delivery, forcing in Bowers.
After Bellevue got its run in the top of the fifth, singles by Patterson and Dupree, a passed ball as Bowers walked got Patterson home. Dupree scored the final run moments later.
Bryant 15, Glendale, Mo. 2
Glendale staked out a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with a walk, a stolen base and a two-out double. After hitting the next batter, Holt got out of the inning with a strikeout. That started stretch in which the Bryant right-hander retired eight in a row, five on strikes. And when he gave up a one-out single in the fourth, the Sox turned a doubleplay started by Tatum at short to get out of the inning.
Lefty Tre Davis would relieve in the top of the fifth. Though he gave up a walk, hit a batter and a two-out RBI single, he struck out two on the way to closing out the game.
Bryant took the lead initially in the bottom of the first when Holt singled then walks were issued to Lee, Patterson and Trey Breeding, forcing in a run. Dale was hit by a pitch to force in the go-ahead tally.
Jordan Gentry opened the second inning with a single just past third. He stole second and, after Holt was hit by a pitch, Lee and Patterson walked to bring him around. Holt scored on a passed ball and Lee came in on a two-out single by Dale. Patterson tried to score as well but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Still, it was 5-1 and the Sox had a big inning to come. That proved to be the third. Again Gentry got things going with a double to left-center. Tatum drew a walk then Holt singled in the first run of the frame.
The Sox muscled up from there. Lee doubled in Tatum then Patterson cleared the sacks with a triple. He scored on a double by Breeding and, after Dale beat out a bunt single, Dakota Besancon knocked in two with a double to left-center.
Suddenly, it was a 12-1.
The Sox put the finishing touches on their scoring in the home fourth. With two down, Andrew Kincaid singled, Tre Davis double and Weston Jones ripped a triple to plate them both. Breeding’s second double plated Jones with the final run.