Bryant AAA snaps brief skid
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).
Though they still haven’t done much lusty hitting, the Bryant Blacksox AAA American Legion team returned to its winning formula to snap a three-game skid with a 6-1 win over Little Rock Post 1 Red on Thursday, June 24.
The winning formula? Great pitching — which really didn’t let down even during their losses — solid defense and opportunistic offense.
The pitching was provided by right-hander Daniel Price, who went the distance, scattering five hits, walking just three and striking out four while allowing just the one unearned run. He improved to 5-1 on the season as the Sox improved to 20-3 overall and 6-1 in Zone IV play.
Defensively, the Sox had just two breakdowns. One of those, an errant throw on a force at second contributed to Little Rock’s lone run. The other came in the fifth and put runners at second and third with one out but was offset by a sparkling play in the hole by shortstop Justin Wells to end the inning with those runners stranded.
Offensively, the Sox made the most of their seven hits, taking advantage of a trio of Little Rock errors and some wildness by Red’s relief pitcher Jake Sullivan. Only one of those Sox’ hits came in an inning in which they did not score. Richie Wood and Todd Bryan each had two hits.
Bryant took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Zack Young was hit by a pitch, advanced on a passed ball and scored on a one-out single by Wood.
After Little Rock tied it in the top of the fourth, the Sox regained the advantage in the bottom of the inning when Wood ripped a triple with two out and scored when Korey Hunter barely beat out an infield hit to deep short.
After dodging the bullet in the top of the fifth, the Blacksox added another run to the lead in the home half. Bryan reached on an error to lead off the inning then Jeff Carpenter singled to left. With Wells at the plate, they pulled off a double steal. Bryan drew a wild throw to third and was able to score on the play.
In the top of the sixth, Price worked around a lead-off single setting up a clinching gift-wrapped, three-run uprising in the bottom of the inning. Sullivan, on in relief of Brandon White, struck out Wood to start the inning but the third strike got past the catcher allowing Wood to reach base. Another wild pitch allowed him to reach second before Hunter walked. Yet another wild pitch was followed by a wild throw to third allowing Wood to score and Hunter to take third. From third, Hunter scored on one more wild pitch to make it 5-1.
With one down, Bryan slapped his second hit to left. He advanced on another errant delivery to the plate and scored on Wells’ two-out single to left.
Price worked around a two-out walk in the seventh to close out the win.
Bryant was scheduled to host Maumelle on Monday, June 28, in a non-league game but rain prevented it. Their annual trip to the Tournament of Champions in Alton, Ill., is next. The Sox play the host team on July 1, Eugene Post, Indiana and Florissant, Mo., on July 2, in pool play.