Bryant sweeps Searcy
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).
Daniel Price took a one-hit shutout into the seventh inning in game one and David Moore drove in four runs and smacked his first home run of the season in the second as the Bryant Blacksox AAA American Legion team swept a doubleheader from Searcy Crain Automotive Sunday, June 8.
Price improved to 4-0 on the season with the complete game victory in the opener. He needed just 75 pitches to put Searcy away. His shutout was lost in the top of the seventh thanks to a hit batsman, an RBI double and an errant throw on a steal attempt.
The Sox, who improved to 12-1 on the season with the sweep, took the lead with a four-run first. Their first two batters, B.J. Wood and Jeff Carpenter each walked then Derek Chambers hit a 1-2 pitch through the legs of the third baseman and Wood scored. With two down, Clay Jones came through with an RBI single to right to make it 2-0. And after Andrew Norman walked, Moore socked a single to left to bring in two more.
In the second, Wood walked but was thrown out as he tried to reach third on a base hit by Carpenter. However, a walk to Chambers kept the inning going. A.J. Nixon bounced to third and Carpenter was forced but a relay to first sailed out of reach and Chambers scored.
Another bad throw, this time on a single in the hole at short by Travis Wood allowed Nixon to score, making it 6-0.
That was all Price needed.
In the second game, Chambers made hit first mound appearance. He gave up a run in the first — Searcy’s only lead of the day — when David Hamilton beat out a bunt hit, took second on a wild pitch, and third on a groundout. With two down, Chambers hit a batter. On a 1-2 pitch with the runner at first on the run, Tommy Drago bounced a single through the right side to plate the run.
In the bottom of the inning, the Sox loaded the bases on a walk to Dustin Easterly and singles by B.J. Wood and Nixon. Carpenter drew an RBI walk to tie the game then Jones blasted one past the first baseman to make it 2-1.
Searcy tied it in the third. Michael Wommack singled, swiped second, took third on a wild throw. He tried to score on a grounder to Carpenter at third. Though he dropped the ball, Carpenter was able to throw Wommack out at the plate. A walk put runners at first and second and after Chambers fanned the next batter, Jacob Felton singled to the opposite field to drive in the run.
Again, the Sox were aided by Searcy miscues as they regained the advantage in the bottom of the third. Chambers blooped a single and Nixon walked. Carpenter got a bunt down but a wild throw enabled him to reach safely, loading the bags. Jones came through with the first of his two doubles in the game to snap the tie.
Norman followed with a shot down the third base line that Drago snared with a dive. He threw home to force Carpenter for the first out of the inning.
Norman injured his ankle on the play, rounding first. He had to come out of the game as Scott Yant ran for him.
That brought up Moore who pounded his homer to left to put the Sox up 7-2.
Bryant added a run on a long double by Jones in the fourth. He chased home Carpenter who had singled with two down. Jones took third on a late throw to the plate and, after Yant walked, Moore came through again with an RBI single to make it 9-2.
Chambers finished his pitch-limited moundwork by retiring the last seven he faced. That gave Justin Woods, back from an extended recovery from a shoulder injury before the high school season, a chance to pitch.
It was nearly an easy inning for Woods. He retired the first batter then gave up a single to Felton. The Sox narrowly missed turning an inning-ending doubleplay on a grounder to short by Drago who beat the rap at first to keep the inning alive.
A single and walk loaded the bases then a slow roller to third went for a two-run single. Another run scored on an error then a single by Hamilton made it 9-6 as Woods reached his pitch limit.
Carpenter relieved and got out of the inning after a walk then pitched around a lead-off single in the seventh to pick up the save.
“We played pretty good,” said Sox manager Craig Harrison. “Searcy had some impressive looking players. Their pitchers threw a lot of pitches (8 walks in game one, 7 in game two) and they had some errors that hurt them.
“We got some clutch hits, from guys that had been struggling in Jones and Moore,” he added.