Four-run fourth lifts Pine Bluff National Bank past Junior Sox

By Rob Patrick

PINE BLUFF — Right-hander Quinton Motto retired 10 of the first batters he faced while the Bryant Black Sox Junior American Legion team scratched out a 2-0 lead. But Pine Bluff National Bank’s Junior team broke through for a four-run fourth and the Sox were unable to overcome it as the Bankers posted a 5-3 win at Taylor Field Monday.

The game concluded in the bottom of the sixth with Pine Bluff at the plate and one out as the time limit expired.[more]

The loss was just the second of the season for the Junior Sox, now 7-2-1. They visit Sheridan for a pair of games on Tuesday then host Little Rock Blue on Wednesday.

Motto allowed a one-out single to Dylan James in the first inning then retired nine in a row including four on strikes.

The Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first when Evan Jobe singled, stole second, took third on Ozzie Hurt’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a single by Josh Pultro.

In the second, the Sox made a bid to add a run when Trent Rivers reached on an error and stole second. With one out, Motto walked. Matt Neal bounced into a force at second as Rivers took third but Jobe rolled into another force to end the inning.

In the third, however, Hurt singled and, with one out, Caleb Milam walked to set the table for Tyler Brown who laced a single to right-center to drive in Hurt, making it 2-0.

Rivers sacrificed to put runners at second and third for Tyler Jamison who flew out deep to right to end the inning.

The game went to the bottom of the fourth when, with one out, Scott Scifres slapped a double to left-center. A pitch later, Nathan Lee singled to drive in the run, taking second on a late throw to the plate.

Caleb Kelly blooped a single to right and, with runners at the corners, Jacob Holland hit a slow roller up the third-base line. Milam, the Sox’ third baseman, charged the ball. His only play was at the plate but Lee was obscuring the target as he sprinted towards home. The throw got past Neal, the Bryant catcher allowing Lee to score.

Kelly wound up at third on the play and Holland at second. The Sox brought the infield in and T.J. Horton hit a two-hopper to Hurt at short. He held the runner at third and threw for the second out at first.

Moments later, however, Mason Rush got a hit down in right-center driving in two more runs.

Ricky Carr followed with a double to get runners to second and third again but Motto got Cash Arcement to fly out to center to keep it 4-2.

Pultro drew a walk to start the Bryant fifth. An out later, Brown shot a liner to center that Scifres charged and caught with a dive to save an extra-base hit. Rivers singled on the next pitch but he and Pultro were stranded as Pierce Sloan, the Bankers’ starter, escaped with the two-run lead intact.

Pine Bluff added a run in the bottom of the inning. James doubled and Scifres walked, forcing a pitching change. Brown relieved and struck out Lee. He then got Kelly to bounce to short. A toss to second got the force but an ill-advised relay to first (in the hope of ending the inning with a doubleplay) resulted in a wild throw that allowed James to score.

Neal ended the inning by throwing out Kelly when he tried to steal second.

The Sox mounted a rally in the top of the sixth. Motto reached on an error, taking second when Holland, the first baseman, made an errant toss to Sloan as he tried to cover first. Neal singled up the middle to put runners at first and third then Jobe drilled a double into the left-field corner to make it 5-3.

The extra run in the bottom of the fifth loomed large at that point. On a squeeze attempt, Hurt’s bunt was fielded by reliever Adam Law, who made a quick throw to the plate in time to retire Neal.

Jobe advanced to third and, with Hurt at first, the Sox had the potential tying run at the plate. Pultro made a bid for a single up the middle but Arcement, the PBNB second sacker, ranged far to his right to field the ball up the middle, flipped to James the shortstop to begin an inning-ending doubleplay.

And when time ran out in the bottom of the inning, it proved to be the Sox’ last gasp of the night.

Manager Darren Hurt wasn’t happy with his team’s play.

“To be honest,” he said, “that’s the first time that this bunch has given that kind of effort. It was terrible. It was the first time I saw two kids not run out balls. I saw a lack of hustle on and off the field; things like that. And it translated into the game. I mean you could see it happening.”


Junior American Legion

Black Sox ab r h bi PBNB ab r h bi

Jobe, cf 4 1 2 1 Arcement, 2b 3 0 0 0

Hurt, 2b 3 1 1 0 James, ss 3 1 2 0

Pultro, rf 3 0 1 1 Scifres, cf 2 1 1 0

Milam, 3b 2 0 0 0 Lee, c 3 1 1 1

Brown, 1b-p 3 0 1 1 Kelley, 3b 3 1 1 0

Rivers, lf 2 0 1 0 Holland, 1b 2 1 1 1

Jamison, 2b 3 0 0 0 Horton, lf 2 0 0 0

Motto, p-1b 2 1 0 0 Rush, rf 2 0 1 2

Neal, c 3 0 1 0 Carr, dh 2 0 1 0

Sloan, p 0 0 0 0

Law, p 0 0 0 0

Totals 25 3 7 3 Totals 22 5 8 4

Bryant 101 001 — 3

PBNB 000 41x — 5

E—Arcement, Horton, Milam. DP—Pine Bluff 1. LOB—Bryant 8, Pine Bluff 3. 2B—Scifres, Carr, James, Jobe. SB—Jobe, Rivers. S—Hurt, Rivers.

Pitching ip r er h bb so


Motto (L) 4 5 3 8 1

Brown 1 0 0 0 0 1

Pine Bluff

Sloan (W) 5 3 2 6 3 3

Law (S) 1 0 0 1 0

1 comment

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