Wells wins duel with Texarkana lefty
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
Justin Wells and Hunter Mustain kept pitching out of trouble. Both the Bryant Blacksox and the Texarkana Razorbacks AAA American Legion teams had had baserunners in every inning but, going into the bottom of the sixth, the game was scoreless.
But that’s when the Blacksox broke through with four runs that Wells and the Bryant defense made stand up as they improved to 17-0 overall and 5-0 in Zone 4 competition with a 4-0 win on Saturday, June 12.
A second game was under way with Texarkana leading 4-1 in the fourth before lightning and a brief but heavy rain forced the game to be called. A tentative makeup date was set for July 14.
RBI singles by Zack Young and Korey Hunter finally broke the ice in the opener. Dustin Easterly added a two-run double to provide some insurance.
The inning began with a double by Travis Wood. He stole third as Scott Peeler drew a walk but they remained at first and third with two down. But that’s when Young beat out an infield hit that allowed Wood to score the game’s first run. Hunter followed with a hump-backed liner to left-center that chased home Peeler from second. On the next pitch, Easterly slapped a double down the right field line that allowed Hunter to score, right behind Young, all the way from first.
In the top of the seventh, Wells got the first out before Patton Crank beat out an infield hit up the middle that just eluded Wells. Tye Whatley singled to left but Wells struck out Ty Sheppard and got the final out when Dane Peavy grounded to Jeff Carpenter at short for a force at second.
Wells scattered seven hits but walked just one while striking out nine. Texarkana stranded nine base runners. The Razorbacks put runners in scoring position in the first, second, third and fourth as well as the seventh innings, but Wells kept wriggling off the hook.
Likewide, Bryant put runners into scoring position in the first, third, fourth and fifth without scoring. The biggest threat came in the third when, with two out, Carpenter extended his hitting streak to nine games with a double to right-center. That came just moments after Dustin Tinkler, who had been hit by a pitch, had been thrown out trying to steal second. Then Travis Wood drove a single to left. Carpenter tried to score on the play but Texarkana worked a perfect relay to nail him at the plate to end the inning.
In the fifth, Hunter reached on an error to start the inning. Easterly sacrificed him to second then a wild pitch enabled him to take third. But Tinkler was robbed of a hit by Peavy on a liner to short and Carpenter skied to center as Hunter was stranded.