Senior Sox notch key Zone win vs. Cross, Pine Bluff
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).
PINE BLUFF — The Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team have won or shared six consecutive regular-season Area IV championships and the No. 1 seeding that goes with it for the league’s post-season tournament which determines its two State Tournament entries.
The 2008 version of the Sox took a big step in making that seven straight when they outlasted Pine Bluff Simmons First Bank and ace right-hander Reese Cross, 9-6, on Friday, June 27, at Taylor Field.
A five-run fifth inning that was aided by Cross’ wildness snapped a 4-4 tie and keyed the Sox win which improved Bryant to 17-5 overall and 9-0 in league play going into its annual trip to the Tournament of Champions in the Alton, Ill., area, an event the Sox have won four times since 2000.
Drew Ransdell picked up the win for the Sox working into the sixth. Preston Adami relieved and got two outs but gave up a pair of run-scoring hits before lefty Trent Daniel got out of the inning and worked a 1-2-3 seventh to earn a save.
The tell-tale uprising in the fifth began with a walk to Jordan Knight and singles by Kaleb Jobe and Daniel to load the bases. A series of wild pitches as Michael Haydon drew a walk allowed all three of those first base-runners to score. Haydon moved around to third and, after Garrett Bock walked and stole second, both scored on a passed ball that went to the backstop and ricocheted away from the Pine Bluff catcher.
Brett Stewart relieved for the Bankers in the sixth and held the Sox to just a seventh-inning single by Haydon but the damage had been done.
Ransdell issued a walk to start the bottom of the sixth and Adami came on. A single to center followed but the Sox worked a nice relay from Knight to Tyler Sawyer to catcher Tyler Pickett to nail the lead runner at the plate. After a flyout, however, an RBI double then an RBI single made it 9-6. Daniel was called in and got the third out of the inning.
The teams had matched scoring up to that point. In the first, Pickett doubled and Sawyer drilled a homer to give Bryant a 2-0 lead. But Pine Bluff tied it when a pair of singles were followed by an error and an RBI groundout.
In the third, Pickett singled, Sawyer doubled and Knight chased both home with a single.
Again, however, Pine Bluff answered with a walk and a double leading to a two-run single.
In the fourth, Cross worked around a single by Justin Blankenship and a walk to Bock but Ransdell pitched around another error and a single to keep it deadlocked going into the fifth.