Junior Sox down Benton to finish pool play 3-0
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
BAUXITE — Tyler Green and Tyler Nelson each had three hits while Zach Cambron and Cody Gogus held[more] Benton to just three as a team as the Bryant Black Sox Junior American Legion team completed a sweep of pool play in the Legion portion of the 29th Wally Hall Tournament of Champions at Miners Field Sunday night.
With the 9-3 win, the Sox advance to the semifinals at 10 a.m. on Monday. If they beat Maumelle in that game, they’ll play for the championship at 3 p.m.
Green was on base all five times he came to the plate in the game and had a hand in all four of the Sox’ scoring innings. Nelson drove in three.
Cambron shut out Benton through four innings and came within three outs of finishing off a run-rule shutout. But a pair of walks, a pair of errors and an RBI single by Tyler Willis kept the game going. The big lefty finished with seven strikeouts in five innings. He walked five and gave up three hits. Only one of the runs he surrendered was earned.
Gogus came on in the sixth and struck out four of the first five he faced as he closed out the win with a pair of hitless innings of relief. The lone baserunner he allowed was on a walk to Hunter Wray with one out in the sixth.
“I liked what I saw of Cambron,” declared Black Sox manager Jimmy Parker. “I liked what I saw of Gogus. That’s big to have him come in and throw like that.
“We didn’t finish as strong as we needed to,” he acknowledged. “Anytime you get a chance to finish, eight after five and you might be able to save some pitching, you need to do it. We just couldn’t close it down when we needed to. We needed to concentrate a little bit more and just realize the game’s not over ‘til it’s over. It was a little lapse there but they’ll be fine.
“Three games in and we’re steadily getting better at the little stuff,” Parker added. “It looked like we started running the bases a little bit better today and the guys squared up on a couple (of pitches) a little bit better today. Some of the guys that had been struggling a little bit, starting hitting better.”
Both teams threatened in the first inning but couldn’t dent the plate. For the Sox, Green doubled, Nelson beat out a bunt hit then stole second. But Benton starter Dylan Oliver retired the next two and, after Gogus walked to load the bases, escaped with a line shot to center by Tryce Schalchlin that was hauled in by Wray.
In Benton’s first. Cambron started with a strikeout of Michael Pope. But a walk to Brad Neighbors and a single by Willis gave Benton a chance to break out on top. Corky Welch followed with a looper to right that Schalchlin charged, making the baserunners hold their position. So, when the ball fell in and Schalchlin snatched it on one hop, his strong throw to third was in time to force Neighbors.
The Sox got out of the inning when, on an 0-2 pitch to Holt Fulcher, a ball in the dirt was blocked by catcher Josh Davis. With the runners moving, Davis found the ball and fired towards third. The throw was wild but interference was called on the batter who couldn’t get out of the way in time, ending the inning.
Bryant posted the first run of the game in the top of the second when, with one out, Davis reached on the first of six Benton errors. Ozzie Hurt sacrificed him to second and Green laced a single to left to send Korey Thompson, the courtesy runner for Davis, to third. Nelson followed with a bloop hit to shallow center to drive in Thompson.
The Sox turned in some nifty defense in the bottom of the inning. After a walk started the inning, Mike Hodge got a bunt down only to have Cambrom bounce off the mound to field it in time not only for a force at second but a doubleplay on nice turn by Hurt.
After Wray fanned, the Black Sox went back to work at the plate in the third. A one-out walk to Gogus and a double that Schalchlin parachuted in down the right-field line set the table. Zach Graddy followed with a bouncer to short that was going to get Gogus home but, when the throw to first was wild, Schalchlin raced home as well to make it 3-0.
After a pitching change, Davis walked. Hurt grounded into a force then Green popped one into right that was misplayed, allowing Graddy to score.
With Hurt at third, Green swiped second and drew a wild throw that allowed Hurt to score, making it 5-0.
Cambron retired the side in order in the third then worked around a single by Welch and a walk to preserve the shutout in the fourth.
The Sox gave themselves a chance to a run-rule win in the top of the fifth. Graddy walked and, an out later, Hurt grounded into a force. Welch, the third Benton pitcher, came within a strike of ending the threat but Green drew a walk to keep things going for Nelson who blasted a triple to right-center, making it 7-0.
Marcus Wilson was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners and when Daniel Richards’ grounder to third was booted, it was 8-0.
A pair of walks started the bottom of the inning then Pope hit a slow roller towards short that Nelson couldn’t pick cleanly, loading the bases with no one out. Cambron steadied things with a strikeout but Willis singled in a run to extend the game. Another error allowed Welch to reach and two more to score, making it 8-3.
But Cambron got Fulcher to foul out to Gogus at first then concluded the inning with a strikeout.
Green singled in a run with two out in the top of the sixth and the final score was on the board for the hard-throwing Gogus to preserve.
The right-hander struck out the side around his walk in the sixth then fanned the first batter of the seventh. Willis grounded out to Richards at third then Welch flew out to Green in shallow center to end it.
BRYANT 9, BENTON 3
Junior American Legion
Black Sox ab r h bi Benton ab r h bi
Green, cf 4 1 3 1 Pope, ss 4 1 0 0
Nelson, ss 5 1 3 3 Neighbors, 2b 3 0 0 0
Wilson, lf 4 0 0 0 Willis, c 4 0 2 1
Richards, 3b 4 0 0 0 Welch, 3b-p 4 0 1 0
Gogus, 1b-p 2 1 1 0 Fulcher, 1b 3 0 0 0
Thompson, cr0000Kennedy, 1b0000
Schalchlin, rf 5 1 1 0 Wilcox, rf 0 0 0 0
Graddy, dh-c 3 1 0 1 Lewis, lf 1 0 0 0
Davis, c-1b 2 1 0 0 Hodge, dh 1 0 0 0
Thompson, cr 0 1 0 0 Turbifill, rf 2 0 0 0
Hurt, 2b 3 2 0 0 Wray, cf 1 1 0 0
Cambron, p 0 0 0 0 Terry, lf-p-3b 2 1 0 0
Totals 32 9 9 5 Totals 25 3 3 1
BRYANT 014 031 0 — 9
Benton 000 030 0 — 3
E—Welch, Pope 2, Wilcox, Willis, Terry, Nelson, Hurt. DP—Bryant 1. LOB—Bryant 12, Benton 7. 2B—Green, Schalchlin. SB—Nelson, Green 2, Wilson, Richards. S—Hurt.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Cambron (W) 5 3 1 3 5 7
Gogus 2 0 0 0 1 4
Oliver (L) 2.1 4 0 5 2 3
Terry 1.2 1 0 0 2 1
Welch 3 4 2 4 3 3
HBP—Gogus (by Terry), Wilson (by Welch).