AAA Sox finish regular season with split
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).
JONESBORO — Left-hander Cory Lambert allowed hits to the first two batters he faced then nary another as the Bryant Blacksox AAA American Legion team notched its seventh win in a row, 13-2, over Paragould 7-Up at Arkansas State University’s Tomlinson Stadium.
In a second game, against the Jonesboro Ricemen, Bryant took a 6-3 lead into the seventh only to lose 7-6 in 11 innings.
The results left Bryant 30-6 for the season as the Zone IV District Tournament begins at Taylor Field in Pine Bluff on Thursday, July 22. The Sox, as regular-season champs, will open play on Friday.
In the first game, Bryant took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, highlighted by Justin Wells’ two-run homer. Travis Wood followed with a double then scored when he advanced to third on a wild pitch and drew an errant throw from the Paragould catcher.
In the bottom of the inning, Paragould greeted Lambert with a single and, after a balk, an RBI double. Lambert then retired 12 of the next 14, pitching around a third-strike passed ball in the third and a one-out error in the fourth. Paragould added a run in the bottom of the fifth on a walk, an error and a groundout.
But by then, the Sox were out of reach. In the second, Dustin Tinkler started a five-run inning with a single. Bryan walked and when Carpenter’s sacrifice bunt drew a bad throw, a run scored. Bryan came home on Wells’ groundout and Carpenter came home on a wild pitch.
The inning continued when Travis Wood reached on an error and scored on a single by Scott Peeler. After an error allowed Zack Young to reach, Josh Groves singled in Peeler, making it 8-1.
In the third, walks to Bryan, Carpenter and Wells loaded the bases. Travis Wood was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Peeler singled in another. Wells scored when Daniel Price grounded out then two came in on a single by Young.
Wells blasted another home run in the second game to give his team a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. He finished with four hits. Bryan and Carpenter each had two.
Wells also started on the mound, working five innings and scattering five hits. A hit batsman and a pair of walks set up a two-run first for Jonesboro. A two-out double produced the tying runs.
Jonesboro regained the lead in the third with a lead-off homer but Bryant tied it in the fourth when Young doubled, took third on Dustin Easterly’s groundout and, after Korey Hunter walked, scored on an errant throw as Hunter stole second.
Bryant took the lead in the top of the fifth. After Carpenter reached on an error, Wells doubled him home.
Wells struck out two and Easterly, the Bryant catcher, gunned down a base-stealer to make for an easy bottom of the fifth.
The Sox added to their lead in the top of the sixth. Hunter singled and stole second. With two out, Bryan doubled him home then scored as well on a single by Carpenter to make it 6-3.
In the home sixth, Wells allowed a lead-off single and gave way to Daniel Minton who got through the inning unscathed.
Minton issued a lead-off walk in the bottom of the seventh but retired the next two. The game appeared to be over when Minton struck out the next batter. But the ball got past Easterly and the inning was extended as the batter reached first. A walk loaded the bases then a double unloaded them, tying the score.
Daniel Price relieved and stranded the potential winning run at third then allowed just one hit through the 10th.
Meanwhile, the Sox were unable to take advantage of a walk and a single in the eighth, a lead-off single in the ninth and a two-out hit in the 10th. They went down in order in the 11th.
In the bottom of the 11th, a hit batsman with one out was followed by a walk and a passed ball. With runners at second and third, Price got the second out on strikes but an RBI single ended it.