June 12 in Bryant athletic history: 2010

Junior Black Sox earn sweep against Texarkana

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).

By Rob Patrick

The Bryant Black Sox Junior American Legion team racked up 19 hits in two seven-inning games against the Texarkana Junior Razorbacks on Saturday, and more than half of those hits — 10 in all — went for extra bases.

And, despite the fact that the Razorbacks piled up 22 hits in the two contests, the Sox prevailed twice, 8-7 and 5-4.

In the opener, even though he was catching with the 100-degree heat index, Chris Joiner had three hits and drove in two runs. Jordan Taylor and Tyler Brown each drove in two as well with Taylor, Ozzie Hurt and Evan Jobe collecting two hits apiece.

The Sox belted seven doubles.

Caleb Milam and Dylan Cross held Texarkana to one run over the final four innings to allow Bryant to rally for the win.

In the nightcap, Landon Pickett jolted a solo homer in the top of the sixth that proved crucial as Texarkana rallied in the top of the seventh. Taylor, the third Sox pitcher in the game and sixth of the day, recorded the final out with the potential tying run at third.

The wins improved the Junior Sox to 7-1-1 this season as they continued for find ways to win. It was their sixth consecutive victory.

“They’re hitting the baseball,” acknowledged Sox manager Darren Hurt. “The first game, we had to match them. They came out hitting the ball. We left a lot of pitches up for them, made it easier on them. But we were real scrappy at the plate. Even though we were behind, we just kept fighting back and finally got the lead and held onto it.”

As for the pitching, with some of the hurlers working for both the Junior and the Senior teams, Hurt and assistant Wayne Taylor, tried not to extend anyone. The Senior Sox play a pair of games at Monticello on Monday then start play in the Twin Lakes Classic in Mountain Home on Wednesday which could wind up including six games in five days.

“We had six pitchers we were wanting to throw today and we got to throw all six of them,” Hurt said. “And nobody threw a lot of pitches. That was the goal because we’ve got a big week ahead of us. Some of them are going to need to pitch some Senior innings and some others hadn’t pitched in a while so we needed to get some time in with them.”

In the opener, both teams scored early and often. Texarkana grabbed the lead when Blake Sullivan smacked the first pitch from Pickett, the Bryant starter, for a double into the gap in left-center. It was the first of his three hits in the game. Chase Sealey beat out a bunt single. Though Joiner gunned down Sealy when he tried to steal second, Drake Freeman came through with a sacrifice fly.

The Sox got the run back in the bottom of the inning, Ozzie Hurt walked and stole second and, after Joiner’s bloop behind first was tracked down nicely by Sealy, the second baseman, Taylor smacked a clutch RBI double.

In the second, Texarkana’s Preston Ellis singled to center and, after right fielder Evan Jobe robbed Cutter West of a hit, Jacob Kirkland, on a hit-and-run rolled a single through the shortstop hole as Taylor moved to cover second.

Ryan Hensley, running for Ellis, came home when Justin Howe reached on an error. The aggressive Razorbacks got a second run home on a well-executed suicide squeeze to make it 3-1. Sullivan’s second hit chased in Howe to cap the inning.

Howe, the Texarkana starter on the mound, retired the first batter of the bottom of the inning but he then walked Trent Rivers. The Sox too were aggressive. They stole four bases in each game. Rivers swiped second at that point and raced home on Jobe’s double down the right-field line.

Quinton Motto traded places with Jobe, lining a double to right-center to make it 4-3. But Motto was out trying to go to third on Tanner Tolbert’s grounder to short and, after Tolbert swiped second, Hurt tapped back to the mound as Howe and the Hogs escaped with the lead.

And they added to it in the top of the third with Caleb Milam relieving Pickett. Milam’s first pitch was lined to center for a single. He struck out Kevin Sipe but hit Ellis. West singled to load the bases and, after Milam fanned Kirkland, Howe shot a single to center to drive in two, making it 6-3.

The Sox chipped a run off the margin in the home third on back-to-back doubles by Joiner and Taylor but Howe forced the Sox to leave Taylor at third.

Sullivan started the fourth with his third hit but Milam kept the Razorbacks off the scoreboard for the first time and the Sox went back to work in the bottom of the inning, taking the lead for good with four runs.

Jobe opened the frame with a base hit to center but got picked off. Motto, however, reached on an error. Tolbert singled to left and Hurt placed a bunt so well, it went for a hit, loading the bases for Joiner who turned on a 2-1 pitch and rifled it down the line for a two-run double, tying the game.

Taylor was issued an intentional walk to load the bases and set up a force at every bag but Brown ruined that strategy by smacking a grounder just inside the third-base bag for two more runs and an 8-6 lead.

Howe gave way to Sipe and Pultro beat out an infield hit to load the bases but a doubleplay got the Razorbacks out of the inning.

Milam, however, kept the Texarkana bats in check, working around a one-out walk in the fifth.

In the sixth, Cross relieved. Texarkana managed an unearned run on a pair of errors and a groundout but he fanned two and, in the seventh, pitched around a walk and a two-out single. He ended it with a strikeout to earn the save.

Sipe, who pitched the final 3 2/3 innings of the first game, started the second game for Texarkana. The Sox got to him for four runs in the second while Matt Neal shut the Hogs out on two hits over the first three frames.

Bryant’s uprising began with a one-out single to left by Cross. Rivers, in as a courtesy runner for the catcher, swiped second and scored when Josh Pultro’s grounder resulted in a wild throw to first.

Lucas Castleberry drew a four-pitch walk but was forced at second on a grounder to third by Brown. With runners at the corners, Brown stole second without a throw, setting the table for Jobe who shot a liner to the gap in right-center for a two-run double.

On the very next pitch, Tolbert plugged the gap in left-center and sprinted to third for an RBI triple.

Bryant made a bid to add to the 4-0 lead in the third when Pickett and Milam opened with singles. But Cross’ foul pop was tracked down by Texarkana catcher Chase Rico, who made a tumbling catch near the backstop. Pickett tried to tag and make it to third but Rico bounced up and fired a strike to Howe at third for a spectacular doubleplay that took the wind out of the uprising.

With the momentum gained from that play, Texarkana rallied as Motto relieved Neal for Bryant. A walk to Sipe opened the door. Howe doubled and Rico singled in the first run. With one out, Owen Moreland beat out an infield hit as Howe scored. West’s base hit brought in courtesy runner Andrew Jester to make it 4-3.

Taylor then came on to relieve for the Sox. He got Sullivan to fly out to Tolbert in center then picked Moreland off second to end the inning.

It was the first of four consecutive innings in which the Hogs got the potential tying run in scoring position only to be denied.

Sipe, meanwhile, retired eight in a row starting with the play by Rico that resulted in the doubleplay in the third.

In Texarkana’s first, one-out singles by Freeman and Sipe had runners at first and third. But Taylor got Howe to bounce to Brown at third and the Sox turned an inning-ending doubleplay to preserve the lead.

In the sixth, Taylor retired the first two before Moreland and West singled, bringing up Sullivan with the tying runner at second. But Taylor got him to bounce to Pickett at first to end that threat.

On the second pitch of the bottom of the sixth, however, Pickett blasted a solo homer to left to give the Sox a little more breathing room. And they needed it.

In the seventh, Freeman slapped a one-out single and stole second. Sipe then launched a drive down the line in right that he apparently thought was a homer and Taylor later admitted he was afraid was a homer. But the fences at Bryant High School Field are deeper than most. The ball hit the fence and was fielded efficiently by Jobe. Freeman scored but Sipe only got to first.

Moments later, Jared Brown, in as a pinch-runner, stole second to get the potential tying run in scoring position. Taylor and Howe battled with the batter fouling off four two-strike pitches before he hit a fly deep down the right-field line. Jobe again tracked it down near the line as Brown tagged and went to third.

Ellis came on to pinch-hit for the Razorbacks but, on a 1-2 pitch, he grounded to Tyler Brown at third as the game ended with Jared Brown left at third.

The Junior team is off until Monday, June 21, when it plays at Pine Bluff.


Game 1

Razorbacks ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi

Sullivan, cf-1b 4 2 3 1 Tolbert, dh 4 2 1 0

Sealy, 2b 4 0 1 0 Hurt, 2b 3 2 2 0

Freeman, ss 3 1 1 2 Joiner, c 4 1 3 2

Sipe, 1b-p 3 0 0 0 Neal, c 0 0 0 0

Ellis, c 2 0 1 0 Taylor, ss 3 0 2 2

Hensley, cr 0 2 0 0 T.Brown, 3b 4 0 1 2

Jester, cr 0 0 0 0 Pultro, cf 3 0 1 0

West, rf 2 0 1 0 Rivers, lf 2 1 0 0

Hensley, rf 2 0 0 0 Jobe, rf 3 1 2 1

Kirkland, 3b 3 1 1 0 Motto, 1b 3 1 1 1

Howe, p-cf 4 1 2 3 Pickett, p 0 0 0 0

J.Brown, lf 3 0 0 1 Milam, p 0 0 0 0

Cross, p 0 0 0 0

Totals 30 7 10 7 Totals 29 8 13 8

Texarkana 132 001 0 — 7

BRYANT 121 400 x — 8

E—T.Brown 2, Milam, Freeman, Motto, Cross. DP—Texarkana 1. LOB—Texarkana 8, Bryant 6. 2B—Sullivan, Taylor 2, Jobe, Motto, Joiner 2, T.Brown. SB—Hurt, Rivers, Tolbert, Freeman, West, Howe, Sullivan, Joiner. S—J.Brown. SF—Freeman.

Pitching ip r er h bb so


Howe (L) 3.1 8 7 10 3 2

Sipe 3.2 0 0 3 0 0


Pickett 2 4 3 5 0 1

Milam (W) 3 2 2 4 2 5

Cross (S) 2 1 0 1 1 3

HBP—Ellis (by Milam). WP—Howe, Milam.

Game 2

Razorbacks ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi

Sullivan, cf 3 0 0 0 Tolbert, cf 3 0 1 1

Sealy, 2b 4 0 2 0 Hurt, 2b 3 0 0 0

Freeman, ss-p 4 1 2 0 Pickett, 1b 3 1 2 1

Sipe, p-dh 3 1 2 1 Milam, dh 2 0 1 0

J.Brown, pr 0 0 0 0 Taylor, p 1 0 0 0

Howe, 3b-ss 4 1 1 0 Cross, c 2 0 1 0

Rico, c 3 0 1 1 Rivers, cr 0 1 0 0

Jester, cr 0 1 0 0 Pultro, lf 2 1 0 0

Ellis, ph 1 0 0 0 Rivers, pr 0 0 0 0

Hensley, lf 3 0 0 0 Castleberry,ss 2 0 0 0

Moreland, 1b 3 0 2 1 T.Brown, 3b 3 1 0 0

West, rf 2 0 2 1 Jobe, rf 2 1 1 2

Neal, p1000

Motto, p0000

Totals 30 4 12 4 Totals 24 5 6 4

Texarkana 000 300 1 — 4

BRYANT 040 001 x — 5

E—Moreland, Sipe, Sealy. DP—Texarkana 2, Bryant 1. LOB—Texarkana 8, Bryant 3. 2B—Jobe, Howe. 3B—Tolbert. HR—Pickett. SB—Sealy, Tolbert, Rivers 2, T.Brown, Freeman 2, J.Brown. S—Sullivan.

Pitching ip r er h bb so


Sipe (L) 5 5 1 6 1 2

Freeman 1 0 0 0 1 0


Neal 3 0 0 2 0 1

Motto 0.1 3 3 3 1 0

Taylor (W) 3.2 1 1 6 0 1

Sipe pitched to one batter in the sixth.

HBP—West (by Neal).

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