Ezell sparks Black Sox’ offense in second pool play game at Classic
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
Photos courtesy of Samantha Breeding
ALTON, Ill. — Trevor Ezell went 3 for 3 while Chase Tucker, Brandan Warner and Korey Thompson each added two hits as the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team improved to 2-0 at the Southwest Illinois Firecracker Classic with an 8-4 win over St. Charles, Mo., this afternoon at Gordon Moore Park.
Bryant completes pool play at the Classic on Saturday when they take on Eureka, Mo., at 2:30 p.m., then take on Jerseyville, Ill., at 4:45 p.m. Winners of each of the four pools will compete in the semifinals on Sunday with the championship game following at 3:30 p.m.
The Sox are the defending champions of the Classic. They improved to 28-4 overall with today’s victory which came on the heels of an 8-0 win over Edwardsville Metro East earlier in the day in which Trey Breeding pitched a no-hitter.
St. Charles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a single, a groundout and a two-out base hit. Bryant tied it in the home half when Ezell walked, advanced to second on Drew Tipton’s grounder to third and scored on Hayden Lessenberry’s two-out single.
A pair of walks around a two-out single loaded the bases for St. Charles in the top of the third. A passed ball allowed the run to score before Caldwell got out of the inning by inducing a grounder to Warner at third with the Sox still ahead, 3-2.
Tucker triple and scored on Warner’s double in the bottom of the third to get the run back. And, in the fourth, Caldwell fanned the first two and, after a single, got the third out on a pop to first to keep it 4-2 going into the bottom of the fourth.
Thompson ripped a double to center to start the home half but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple. Ezell burned the centerfielder moments later and made it to third. After Tipton walked, Blake Patterson singled to make it 5-2.
Caldwell issued a walk to start the fifth but Zach Graddy threw out the runner trying to steal. Another walk and Caldwell, who had reached his pitch limit, gave way to Emmerling who proceeded to throw a two-ball on his first delivery, sending it to the bottom of the fifth.
The fifth was the only inning in which Bryant didn’t score but St. Charles couldn’t muster much in the top of the sixth as Emmerling hit a batter but threw another doubleplay ball.
A walk to Thompson in the home half of the inning started a crowning three-run uprising. Ezell singled and, with one out, Patterson walked to fill the sacks. With two down, Tucker came through with a double to clear the bases.
Though Phillips gave up a pair of doubles to start the top of the seventh, he induced three consecutive grounders to Thompson at second to close out the win.