SHERIDAN — Peyton Dillon clubbed a two-run homer to highlight a four-run third for the Bryant Black Sox 17U American Legion team. Behind the pitching of Josh Turner, Noah Davis, Tyler Bates and, at the end, Dillon, the Sox held off a late rally by the Conway Fieldhouse 17U team to win 4-3 in pool play at the Sheridan Junior Invitational on Saturday morning.
Turner shut out Conway for four innings then gave up a single run in the fifth. It took Davis and Bates to get through a two-run sixth. With the bases loaded, Bates induced a grounder to Kyler Pabon at second to end the uprising.
Bates was greeted by a single by Logan French to start the seventh. Dillon relieved and catcher Ryan Riggs caught French trying to steal second before Dillon fanned Drew Freyaldenhoven then ended the game by getting Will Vint to ground out to Pabon at second, earning the save.
The Sox had just three hits but benefitted from nine walks, a hit batsman and three Conway errors.
All the runs they’d get or need came in the third when Noah Davis walked, and Dillon homered to center. With one out, Dakota Clay drew a free pass as did Cade Parker. Gavin Burton singled to load the bases then a walk to Aaron Morgan forced in a third run. Blaine Sears drew another RBI walk to cap the inning.
Turner had pitched around a one-out walk in the first; a hit batsman with two out in the second and a one-out double by Lake Satterfield in the third.
After his teammates got him a lead, he retired Fieldhouse around a two-out single by Zach Sczuba in the fourth. In the fifth, E Davis singled, stole second and scored on a two-out double by Jacob Modershohn. He was, in turn, stranded when French grounded out.
An error to open the sixth undermined Davis’ relief work. A walk put two aboard but Sczuba grounded into a force at third as Clay made a nice play. But Nick DeBoard singled to fill the bases.
Davis came back to fan Eric Davis. That’s when Bates came on and issued a run-scoring walk to Chase Hooten. On a comebacker that was misplayed, Austin Rainey, running for Sczuba, came home to make it 4-3.
A walk loaded the bases, but the Bryant lefty got Modersohn to tap out.
Bryant had threatened in the bottom of the second when walks were issued to Clay and Parker. After a pair of strikeouts, Sears drew a free pass, but another strikeout left the bases loaded.
With the 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth, Dillon reached on an error when his pop fly was dropped. Riggs’ grounder to short was misplayed and, with one out, Parker drew a walk to load the bases. But an infield fly, and a strikeout prevented the Sox from adding to their lead.
Riggs doubled with out in the bottom of the sixth and courtesy runner Drew Hatman advanced on an errant pickoff play but a strikeout ended the inning.
The Sox, now 2-0 in pool play, were set to take on the Fort Smith Sportsman Junior team later on Saturday.