AAA Sox bounce back with win over Kerwins
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).
By ROB PATRICK
A little extra hitting practice seemed to help the Bryant Blacksox AAA American Legion team on Sunday. After stranding 11 baserunners in an excruciating 3-2 loss in nine innings against District IV rival Arkansas Trailer of Little Rock on Friday, the Sox responded to a hitting session on Saturday with eight of their 10 hits in the first three innings of a 6-2 win over the visiting Fort Smith Kerwins team Sunday afternoon.
Kerwins, in town to get a pair of games in, also suffered a 4-2 loss to Trailer earlier in the day.
B.J. Wood, who continued his hot-hitting of late with to singles in the game, improved to 5-0 with his second consecutive stellar outing on the mound. Going the distance, Wood struck out eight and scattered six hits. Three of the hits and both runs came in the fifth after the Sox had staked a 6-0 lead.
The win improved Bryant to 21-8 on the season going into a twinbill at White Hall on Monday, June 30. They were set to make their annual trip to Alton, Ill., to defend their Tournament of Champions title, on Wednesday, July 2.
The Sox took a 2-0 lead in the home first. Wood beat out an infield hit then Jeff Carpenter stroked a base hit to left. After Derek Chambers lined out to third, Clay Jones singled up the middle to load the bags for Andrew Norman who was hit with a pitch to force in a run. Travis Wood then came through with a sacrifice fly.
B.J. Wood worked around a walk in the top of the second then contributed to a run-scoring uprising in the bottom of the inning. A one-out single by Todd Bryan got things started. Wood pulled a single into right then Carpenter walked to load the bags. Bryan hustled home when Chambers was thrown out on a slow roller that was tracked down by Kerwins pitcher Clay Glover, who just got Chambers at first.
A single by Josh Holloway in the top of the third was Kerwins’ first of the game. But Wood retired the next two to leave him stranded. In the bottom of the inning, Norman, shrugging off the effects of being hit in the hand with a pitch, cracked a single to left. Travis Wood walked then Scott Peeler rifled a run-scoring double to left-center.
Travis Wood was thrown out trying to score on David Moore’s tap to the mound but Bryan walked to load the bags again and, with two out, Carpenter came through in the clutch with a two-run single to make it 6-0.
Kerwins’ Derek Blount singled to lead off the fourth, advancing to second on a slow roller to short by Drew Sadler. Wood fanned Austin Jones then Bryan robbed Michael Scherry of a hit with a nifty play at short to preserve the shutout.
In the fifth, however, Kerwins put together three hits including a bloop to right on a hit-and-run. With runners at the corners, Wood struck out Ben Bracken but Steven Nash singled to right to drive in two, advancing to second when the ball was bobbled in the outfield. But Wood stopped the proceedings there by striking out Blount, the clean-up man.
The Sox turned a doubleplay in the sixth to erase a lead-off single then Wood worked around a one-out walk in the seventh to nail down the victory.