Stuttgart’s rally falls short
EDITOR’S NOTE: In this time of COVID-19, with no sports action, BryantDaily.com will be posting 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).
By ROB PATRICK
The Bryant Black Sox AAA American Legion team didn’t expect to be batting in the bottom of the seventh of their June 12 game against the Stuttgart Ricemen at Ashley Park. After all, they led 12-6 through six innings.
But, with the help of four walks and two hit batters, Stuttgart rallied to tie the game in the top of the seventh — missing a chance to take the lead due to some poor baserunning — forcing the Sox to hit one more time.
And, with the help of Stuttgart’s sixth error of the game, the Black Sox pulled out the win on a one-out RBI single by Anthony Rose.
Bryant improved to 8-5 on the season, going into Tuesday’s doubleheader at Woodlawn.
Matt White and Cody Graddy each homered and White and Rose had two hits apiece in the victory. Brad Chism, the fourth Bryant pitcher, picked up the win despite struggling in the top of the seventh.
Tad Beene started the seventh after taking the hill in the sixth. He walked Cliff Capps to open the frame — no problem there since Capps had already homered twice. Taylor Helms blooped a single to left, however, then Trevon Johnson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. One run scored when Derek Mackenzie grounded to first.
But that first out failed to stem the tide. Beene continued to struggle with his control. He walked David Holt to load the bags again then hit Bailey Dickson to force in a run.
When Beene’s first pitch to Taylor Moore was off the mark, he gave way to Chism.
But the Sox’ lefty, one of the most pleasant surprises of the season, fared little better. On a 3-2 pitch, he walked Moore to force in a run that made it 12-9. The count went to 3-2 on Reshawn Jackson as well and he too drew an RBI pass.
With sacks still juiced, Stuart Jacks ripped a 2-1 delivery to the fence in right-center. The tying runs scored then Jackson got halfway between third and home and appeared to be a dead duck as Rose relayed home to Graddy. Jackson headed back to third and got into a rundown. The Sox executed and tagged him out then caught Jacks wandering between second and third. He was tagged out trying to get back to second to end the inning with Capps, of all people, left standing on deck.
With one out in the bottom of the inning, Dustin Morris lifted a fly to right that Moore dropped. Morris reached second on the play then took third on a wild pitch from Jacks, the second Stuttgart pitcher. After Michael McClellan walked, Rose pulled a 2-2 pitch through the hole into left field to drive home the game-winner.
White led off the bottom of the first with his home run, giving the Sox a 1-0 lead.
But Stuttgart scored twice in the second off Bryant starter Chris Sory. A one-out error contributed and made the runs unearned.
In the third, Capps launched his first homer to make it 3-1. Singles by Helms and Johnson and a walk to Mackenzie loaded the bases for Ryan Van Houten, who delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1.
Van Houten, the Stuttgart starter, ran into trouble in the bottom of the inning, however. White got things going with a lined double to left. Morris followed with a single to chase him home. McClellan walked and Rose singled to load the bases for Beau Hamblin who rifled an RBI single up the middle. Beene brought home the tying run with a sacrifice fly then the Sox took the lead when Graddy’s grounder to short drew a wild throw. Both Rose and Hamblin scored to make it 6-4.
Sory had his only 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fourth and the Sox responded by taking apparent control of the contest. Morris reached on an error then McClellan doubled. Rose bounced to Capps at short. He threw to third trying to get McClellan who turned to go back to second as Morris scored. Jacks, playing at third, made a bad throw to second as McClellan got back.
Hamblin followed with a shot to left that Jackson tried to back hand and dropped. McClellan scored and Rose went to third. With the infield in, Beene bounced one to short. Capps fielded and threw home but the throw was in the dirt and got past Dickson the catcher. When the ball ricocheted up the first base line, Hamblin followed Rose home, making it 10-4.
Beene, who wound up at second on the play, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk.
Capps homered to lead off the fifth and Sory gave way to McClellan. After giving up a single to Helms, McClellan retired the next three.
Beene took over in the sixth and Dickson greeted him with an opposite-field double. A groundout by Moore allowed Dickson to reach third. He then scored on a chopper to third by Jackson on which McClellan, back at third, made a splendid play.
The Sox got that run back when Graddy bashed a long homer to left-center with one out in the bottom of the inning, but the wild seventh ensued.
A Sox ransack Ricemen
By ROB PATRICK
For the fifth game in the last six, the Bryant Black Sox A American Legion team scored in double figures Monday night posting a 16-4 victory over the Stuttgart Ricemen. Hardly coincidentally — though they lost one of the games in which they scored more than 10 — the win was the Sox’ fifth in the last six outings, as well.
Derek Chambers drove in four runs and Chance King cracked a pair of doubles as the Sox utilized seven hits to take advantage of 10 walks and four Stuttgart errors in the five inning game. An 11-run third blew the game open.
Right-hander John Hensley had his own trouble with the strike zone, walking six, but it was just his second mound outing of the season. He allowed just two hits — a single in the third by Brett Helms and a single in the fifth by Ford Rogers.
Bryant improved to 12-8 with the victory.
Hensley mowed down the first seven Stuttgart batters. In the meantime, he and his teammates built a 5-0 lead.
In the first, Scott Yant and Hensley drew walks then Derrick Chambers set down a sacrifice bunt that Stuttgart pitcher Brett Helms fielded. But Helms’ throw to first was wild allowing Yant to score.
With runners at second and third, Helms retired the next two before Hunter Gregory came through in the clutch with a single. Hensley scored and, when the ball was bobbled in left, so did Chambers.
In the second, King lashed a lead-off double to left, took third on a wild pitch and, after Alex Pudinas walked, scored on a single by Yant. Hensley bunted Pudinas to third and he scored from there on a sacrifice fly by Chambers to make it 5-0.
Stuttgart finally broke through against Hensley in the third, aided by lead-off walks to David Holt and Matt Millard. Brian Humphrey then bounced one past the mound. After Hensley got a glove on it, second sacker Austin Allsup fielded. But his rushed throw to first missed its mark and Holt scored.
Another came home on a groundout by Drew Horton. After a walk to Taylor Moore, Helms got his team’s first hit, a single to left that would’ve left the bases loaded. But Chambers bobbled the ball in left and Humphrey was able to score to make it 5-3.
Bryant’s game-breaking third began with walks as well. It was an inning that featured five walks, two hit batsmen and three errors. Hensley drove in the first run with a chopper up the middle for a base hit. Another scored when Clay Jones reached on an error.
The Sox tried to steal a run but, on a straight steal of home, Hensley was tagged out, but another Stuttgart error on a grounder by Jason Rose loaded the bases again. Gregory was hit by a pitch to force one in then Allsup, who started the inning with a walk, drew another free pass to bring in another run.
Rose then hustled home on a pitch in the dirt before King lashed another double to make it 12-3. A bad-hop single past short by Pudinas drove in two more and, after Yant reached on an error and Hensley was hit by a pitch, Chambers stroked a two-run single to cap things off.
Three walks and a pair of errant pickoff throws allowed the Ricemen to tack on a run in the top of the fourth.
Though the Sox committed four errors themselves, they also came up with a pair of sparkling defensive plays in Hensley’s support. During the opening string of batters that the Bryant right-hander set down, Gregory made a headlong dive toward the line at first to knock a sure base hit down. He scrambled to his feet and got the out. In the fifth, Yant, the Bryant shortstop, went deep in the hole to back-hand a grounder and threw out Taylor Moore.