By Rob Patrick
The Everett Black Sox Junior American Legion team was held to five hits by the Hot Springs[more] Lakeside Rams AA ace Bo Ritter but a pair of those hits were clutch two-run singles that helped produce a hard-earned 7-5 win in a nine inning game at Bryant High School Field on Saturday.
The Sox improved to 20-0 with the victory, going into their next outing, a home doubleheader against Texarkana on Monday night.
Brandan Warner and Dalton Holt came through with those knocks. Warner’s keyed a five-run fourth that erased a 1-0 deficit. Holt’s came in the seventh inning to pad a 5-4 lead in support of the combined pitching effort of Blake Patterson and Devin Dupree, each of whom gave up just one earned run.
Ritter set down the first eight Bryant batters before Jordan Gentry pulled a clean single to left. But Ritter got Connor Tatum to tap back to the mound to keep the Sox off the board.
Patterson’s first three frames were nearly as flawless. He issued a two-out walk to Hayden Lindsey in the second then John Barmore slapped a single to right but both were stranded when Tanner Crumpton popped a one-hopped back to Patterson to end the inning.
The Bryant right-hander retired the Rams in order in the in the third.
Lakeside broke the ice on the scoring, however, in the fourth when Austin Softley walked and sprinted to third on a single to right by Spencer Hecke. Patterson was then cited for a balk, which allowed Softley to come home.
The Bryant hurler didn’t let it phase him, though, as he struck out the next two with Hecke stranded at second.
Everett took the lead for good with the five-run fourth which was fueled by three Lakeside errors. The first allowed Holt to get on board to start the inning. Even Lee then one-hopped the wall in right-center. And when Patterson drew a walk in a 3-2 pitch, the bases were loaded for Dupree.
He and Ritter, the son of former Major Leaguer Reggie Ritter, battled to another 3-2 count. Dupree was struck by the next delivery, forcing in Holt with the tying run.
Ritter got Trey Breeding to fly to shallow left and got a strike in on Warner before he grounded one up the middle driving in Lee and Patterson. And when the ball was juggled by Softley in center, Dupree wound up at third and Warner at second.
Hunter Oglesby made it 4-1 with a sacrifice fly then Warner scored when Gentry’s one-hopper to third drew a wild throw to first.
Lakeside battled back in the top of the fifth. Crumpton and Aidan Watson each singled and Dupree came on to relieve Patterson. Ritter’s two-hopper to Warner at third came up just short of a doubleplay as the batter beat the relay to first.
With runners at the corners, Bryant brough the infield in and Taylor Street obliged with a bouncer to Tatum at short. Crumpon made an ill-advised move toward the plate then hesitated but Tatum, not realizing that, rushed his throw to the plate and it got away. Crumpton scored and Lakeside wound up with runners at second and third.
A second run scored when Softley grounded out to Patterson at first and the third came home on another Bryant miscue. Dupree got clean-up hitter Chase Willingham to ground to Tatum, who stepped on second to retire the side with the Sox clinging to a 5-4 lead.
Ritter got on a roll again and retired seven in a row through the sixth inning. Lindsey singled for Lakeside in the sixth but the Sox went around the horn for a doubleplay to take the starch out of any potential uprising.
Dupree pitched around a one-out single by Street in the top of the seventh to keep it a one-run game and his teammates added some padding in the bottom half. Oglesby led off with a single to left and Gentry drew a walk. Tatum got a nice sacrifice bunt down that he nearly beat out, setting the stage for Holt who lined an 0-1 delivery over the head of the shortstop for a two-run single that made it 7-4.
Lakeside used a walk, a pair of wild pitches and a two-out, two-strike single to right by pinch-hitter Jon Youngblood to whittle a run off the margin but Dupree retired the last four batters in the game to pin down the victory, which was punctuated by an eye-popping play at third on a chop over his head that he back-tracked, fielded and fired to first in time to retire the speedy Softley.
The Sox go to Lakeside on Tuesday to wrap up the regular season. They’ll start play in the Zone 4 Tournament next weekend.
BRYANT EVERETT 7, HOT SPRINGS LAKESIDE 5
Rams ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi
Ritter, p 5 1 0 0 Tatum, ss 3 0 0 0
Street, ss 5 1 1 0 Holt, rf 4 1 1 2
Softley, cf 4 1 0 1 Lee, lf 4 1 1 0
Willingham, c 4 0 0 1 Patterson, p-1b 3 1 0 0
Hecke, lf 4 0 1 0 Dupree, 1b-p 3 1 0 1
Lindsey, 2b 2 1 1 0 Breeding, c 3 0 0 0
Barmore, 3b-rf 4 0 1 0 Warner, 3b 4 1 1 2
Crumpton, 1b 2 1 1 0 Oglesby, cf 2 1 1 1
Youngblood, 3b 1 0 1 0 Gentry, 2b 2 1 1 0
Watson, rf 3 0 1 0
Carpenter, 1b 1 0 0 0
Totals 35 5 7 2 Totals 28 7 5 6
Lakeside 000 130 010 — 5
BRYANT 000 500 20x — 7
E—Street, Softley, Barmore, Tatum 2. DP—Bryant 1. LOB—Lakeside 7, Bryant 3. 2B—Lee. SB—Breeding. S—Tatum. SF—Oglesby.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Ritter (L) 8 7 2 5 3 3
Patterson 4 2 1 4 2 4
Dupree (W) 5 3 1 3 1 3
Balk—Patterson. HBP—Dupree (by Ritter), Crumpton (by Dupree). WP—Dupree 2.