AAA Sox split four at Alton
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).
ALTON, Ill. — Though the Bryant Blacksox AAA American Legion team was unable to repeat as champions of the multi-state 30-team Tournament of Champions, they acquitted themselves well playing four games in two days. Only an error-plagued finale in a 9-2 loss to the host team marred their stay.
And the highlight of the tournament, besides the championship, may have been provided by a 10-inning marathon between the Sox and Edwardsville, Ill., both featuring stellar pitching from Bryant’s Travis Wood and Edwardsville’s Shaun Seibert. Neither figured in the decision as Edwardsville rallied for a 4-3 win after Bryant had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the 10th.
In other games, the Sox pounded Stonnington, Ill., 13-5 in their opener on Thursday, July 3, then dropped St. Charles, Mo., 13-1, in five innings behind another splendid pitching performance from Scotty Yant on Friday, July 4.
The Sox went into the final game against Alton on Friday knowing they would not advance to the championship round because of the loss to Edwardsville which, ironically, advanced thanks to Bryant’s win over St. Charles.
O’Fallon, Ill., was eventually the champion of the tournament, which Bryant had won in two of the last three years.
The Sox’ 2-2 finish at the tourney left them 25-10 on the season going into a doubleheader with White Hall at home on Wednesday, July 9, then a crucial twinbill at Pine Bluff in Zone 4 play on Thursday.
Bryant 13, Stonnington, Ill., 5
Derek Chambers, A.J. Nixon and David Moore each had three hits and Daniel Minton scattered eight hits in the six-inning win to open the tournament for Bryant.
Stonnington scored two unearned runs in the first and added another tally in the second to stake a 3-0 lead. Bryant got on the board in the second on Moore’s RBI double.
The Sox took the lead with a big third. Chambers was hit by a pitch and scored all the way from first on a double by Scott Peeler who followed him home shortly thereafter on a two-base wild pitch. Nixon doubled and, after a pitching change Travis Wood walked. Both moved up on a passed ball and scored on Moore’s two-run single.
The Sox loaded the bases when Todd Bryan was hit by a pitch and B.J. Wood reached on an error. With two down, Chambers came through with a two-run single to make it 7-3.
After Stonnington added a run in the top of the fourth, Bryant got it back in the home half when Andrew Norman walked and singles by Moore and Bryan brought him around.
In the fifth, both teams added another run. For Bryant, Chambers doubled and scored on a single by Nixon.
The Sox made it a run-rule win in the closing home sixth. Moore reached on an error, Bryan singled then both courtesy runner Andrew Moseley and Bryan moved up on B.J. Wood’s grounder to first. Jeff Carpenter walked to load the bases. Carpenter was forced at second on Chambers grounder as Moseley scored. Peeler then cracked an RBI double and Nixon singled in a pair to end it.
Edwardsville, Ill., 4, Bryant 3, 10 innings
Travis Wood allowed two unearned runs on four hits, walked three and fanned eight over the first seven innings while Seibert surrendered two earned runs on six hits while walking three and striking out eight in seven innings of a game well-attended by scouts.
Daniel Price took over for Wood and Jon Goebel relieved Seibert in the eighth and they battled into the 10th. In the top of the inning, Nixon singled and was sacrificed to second by Carpenter. A base hit by Clay Jones sent Nixon to third and he scored from there when Norman hit a bouncer to short that the drawn-in fielder couldn’t make a play to the plate on.
In the bottom of the 10th, however, the first two Edwardsville batters singled. Though Price had wriggled out of a one-out, two-on jam in the ninth, this time, he couldn’t escape. A stolen base put runners at second and third with one out. A single to left drove in both runs to produce the heartbreaking loss.
Edwardsville had scored single runs in the second and third, both with the aid of Bryant miscues. The Sox tied it in the fourth when Bryan walked, Chambers singled but was thrown out on a one-out single by Nixon when he tried to take third where Bryan had held up. Nixon took second on the play, however, and both he and Bryan scored on Carpenter’s clutch single to left to tie it.
Though the Sox had runners on board in every inning including to third in the fifth, seventh and ninth, they were unable to snap the tie until the 10th.
Bryant 13, St. Charles 1
Yant allowed just four hits, walked one and struck out three in the five inning game which featured 15 Bryant hits. Peeler went 4-for-4 with four runs batted in. He had two doubles and a triple. Carpenter, Chambers and Nixon each had two hits as well.
Yant didn’t allow a hit until the third when a one-out single was erased by a Sox doubleplay. By then, Bryant held a 13-0 lead thanks to an 11-run explosion in the second.
In the first, Carpenter singled, Peeler doubled and Nixon drove both home with a base hit.
The second began with a walk to Bryan, a single by Dustin Tinkler and a bunt hit by B.J. Wood to load the bases. With one out, Chambers rifled a two-run single to center then Peeler cleared the bases with a triple to make it 6-0. Peeler scored as well when the relay was mishandled.
Nixon started carousel again with a double, taking third on a passed ball as Travis Wood walked. Nixon held as Moore bounced into a force at second but he scored when Bryan’s bouncer to short was booted. Tinkler drew a walk then Wood and Carpenter singled to drive in a run. An error allowed Tinkler to score and after Chambers loaded them up with a single, Peeler’s two-run double capped the inning.
St. Charles’ lone run came by virtue of a pair of singles, a force out and a wild pitch in the fourth.
Alton, Ill., 9, Bryant 2
Only three of Alton’s runs were earned against Bryant starter B.J. Wood who worked three innings. Bryan relieved in the fourth and surrendered two more runs, both unearned.
Alton did all of its scoring in the third and fourth, picking up four in the third.
Bryant’s lone runs came in the fourth. Nixon walked and Carpenter, who had two hits in the game, singled. After a wild pitch, Jones banged a double into right-center to chase both runners home. Later, B.J. Wood singled Jones to third but both were stranded.
The Sox left 10 runners on base in the game.