Junior Black Sox are 17U Battle of Omaha champions

OMAHA, Neb. — Jordan Gentry’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh drove in Dakota[more] Besancon with the winning run as the Bryant Everett Black Sox captured the championship of the 17U Battle of Omaha with a 5-4 win over the Colorado Slammers of Lakewood, Colo., on Sunday.

The Sox swept six games at the tournament including a 7-3 decision over Team Colorado of Castle Rock, Colo., in the semifinal earlier on Sunday.

Bryant not only brought home the championship hardware but improved to 13-0 on the season going in a home game against Ashdown scheduled for this Wednesday.

Bryant 5, Colorado Slammers 4

The Slammers had rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh to tie the final 4-4 and had the potential go-ahead run on second when right-hander Harrison Dale got the final out to end the rally and keeping it deadlocked. Dale had relieved starter Devin Dupree in the top of the sixth after the first two batters had reached. He got out of the jam after a sacrifice pushed runners to second and third. A strikeout and a pop to third ended the inning.

But, in the seventh, a pair of one-out singles and a two-out double tied the game.

In the bottom of the inning, Hunter Oglesby laced a single to right. Though he was forced at second on Besancon’s tap back to the mound, the Slammers were unable to complete the doubleplay as Besancon hustled to first. Dale walked and, after Brandan Warner flew out to left, Gentry came through with the game-winning single to left.

Dupree, who had earned a save in the win over Team Colorado by getting the final two outs with a pair of runners aboard, surrendered a pair of unearned runs in the first inning of the title match. A hit batsman and a double were followed by an outfield error that allowed both to score.

But he retired the next eight batters in a row to get through the third inning. A lead-off single in the fourth broke the string. The runner advanced on a wild pitch then moved up on a grounder to second. But Dupree picked him off third then ended the inning with a strikeout.

He worked around a walk and an error in the fifth before the walk and single that opened the sixth.

The Sox had trimmed a run off the 2-0 lead in the second when Dupree singled to left, Trey Breeding sacrificed him to second then he scored when Dale reached on an error.

Though Warner walked and Connor Tatum singled, that’s all the Sox would get.

It stayed 2-1 until the bottom of the fifth. That’s when Bryant took the lead. Tatum was struck by a pitch and Dalton Holt sacrificed him to second. Evan Lee reached on an error and, with two down, Dupree blasted a three-run homer.

Holt singled and Lee had a base hit in the sixth but the Sox were unable to get a run in, setting up the Slammers’ rally and the dramatic finish in the seventh.

Bryant 7, Team Colorado 3

In the semifinal win, Bryant built a 2-0 lead before Team Colorado rallied for the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Blake Patterson relieved starter Zach Jackson who had shut out the Colorado team up to that point. Forcing them to strand a runner at third, Patterson got out of the jam.

And the Sox regained the edge with two runs in the top of the sixth. A three-run seventh set the final score with Dupree getting the final two outs.

Bryant took the lead initially in the second when Dupree walked, Breeding reached on an error and another miscue allowed the run to score.

In the second, Holt drew a one-out walk and Lee singled him to third. A wild pitch allowed the run to score. Lee stole third and, after Patterson walked and Dupree was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Breeding hit a fly to left. Lee tagged and came home only to be tagged out to end the inning.

Jackson, meanwhile, pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, worked a 1-2-3 second and worked around a one-out double in the third, forcing Team Colorado to strand a man at third.

In the fourth, Warner singled with one out and stole second but was stranded for the Sox. Colorado’s rally in the bottom of the inning started with a one-out double by Jared Bonato. After a passed ball moved him to third, he scored on Seth Barres’ grounder to second. Another double, this time by Reid Goodman was followed by a walk to Tom Skufca before an outfield error allowed both runners to score.

Patterson relieved and got the final out on a comebacker.

After the Sox were unable to counter in the top of the fifth, Team Colorado loaded the base with one out on a pair of walks on either side of a double by Josh Brown. Barres followed with a fly to Dale in left. The lead runner, Aaron Germani, tagged and tried to score only to have Dale throw him out at the plate with a strike to Breeding, the Sox catcher.

Jacked up after that play, the Sox rallied in the top of the sixth. Breeding reached on an error and Dale sacrificed. A passed ball moved Besancon, the courtesy runner to third and, with two down, Gentry singled him in to tie it. A stolen base got Gentry into scoring position and when Tatum doubled, he scored.

The Sox nearly got another when Holt singled to left but Tatum was thrown out at the plate.

Still, Bryant had a 4-3 lead.

In the home sixth, Patterson struck out the first batter but walked Skufca. Sean O’Dell reached on an error but Quinn O’Neill popped to Warner at third and Mason Telander struck out to end the threat.

The Sox’ seventh-inning uprising began with a single to center by Lee. Patterson doubled him home then Breeding reached on an error with one down. Dale delivered a sacrifice fly and Warner doubled to make it 7-3.

A walk to Aaron Goodman and a one-out single had runners at first and third when Dupree was brought to the mound by manager Tyler Brown. A strikeout and a bouncer to first brought the rally and the game to a conclusion.

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