Sox bounce back vs. Oxford
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).
LITTLE ROCK — After suffering back-to-back losses for just the second time all season — and this time they both came on the same day in a twinbill at Fort Smith Kerwins (see related story) — the Bryant Blacksox AAA American Legion team avoided their first three-game skid with a 12-4 thumping of Zone IV rival Oxford Printing at J.A. Fair High School Monday night.
Though plagued by some wildness, the Sox’ Derek Chambers and A.J. Nixon combined to limit Oxford to just four hits while the Sox roughed up a trio of pitchers.
All nine Sox starters reached base in the game. Kevin Littleton, Chambers, Nixon and B.J. Wood each had two hits, Clay Jones smacked his third home run of the season and Scotty Yant was on base three times.
A five-run fourth blew the game open, but Bryant already led 6-3. A three-run first set the tone. Jeff Carpenter walked, Cody Graddy reached on an error and, with two down, Chambers and Nixon came through with singles. Nixon’s drove in a pair. Jones’ grounder to short drew a wild throw and Chambers came home to make it 3-0.
In the bottom of the inning, Oxford scored twice with only one hit leaving the infield. Bryant contributed an error and Chambers walked a pair, but got out of the jam, leaving the bases full.
The Printers tied it in the bottom of the second. Chris Butler doubled, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk.
Bryant regained the lead for good with a three-run third, highlighted by Jones’ two-run blast. Littleton had walked with one out, took second on a bouncer to first by Chambers then scored on a single up the middle by Nixon. On the next pitch, Jones went deep to make it 6-3.
After Chambers worked a 1-2-3 inning in the home third, the Sox unloaded in the top of the fourth. Cody Graddy walked, Littleton singled then Chambers doubled home a run. An out later, Jones lifted a sacrifice fly to right to make it 8-3.
Yant walked and Oxford changed pitchers. Wood greeted the new hurler with an RBI double to left-center. White then capped the uprising with a two-bagger to chase in Yant and Wood.
Chambers issued three walks around a groundout in the bottom of the inning and Nixon came on. He got Andy Ross to fly to right before walking a run in. Eric Sessions then bounced out to second to end the inning.
Littleton doubled to start the fifth and eventually scored when Wood reached on a two-out error giving Bryant the eight-run lead that would abbreviate the game. Nixon walked a pair in the bottom of the inning but both were stranded as the game concluded.
The Sox improved to 20-10 with the victory as they embarked on their annual trip to the St. Louis area to compete in a large tournament based in Alton, Ill.