Junior Sox head into Zone tourney off a pair of wins
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting 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).
The Bryant Black Sox Junior American Legion team wrapped up the regular season[more] last week with two wins in three games, improving their record to 13-3-1 going into the Zone 4 Junior Tournament at Sheridan.
On Saturday, June 25, the Sox suffered an 11-2 loss to Texarkana in a nine inning game. But they bounced back on Wednesday, June 29, with a 6-2 victory over Little Rock Post 1 Blue. The next day, they dismissed Hot Springs Lakeside 12-5 in a nine-inning contest.
Bryant 12, Lakeside 5
Cody Gogus blasted a two-run homer, had a triple and a sacrifice fly for the Sox. Marcus Wilson and Chase Tucker also had two hits each.
Four pitchers worked in the game for the Sox. Wilson started and threw three shutout innings. Tyler Green came on in the fourth and surrendered three runs but got out of a bases-loaded the jam to preserve a 4-3 lead. The lefty settled in and retired the last eight batters he faced. Austin Caldwell and Gogus finished up.
The Sox got off to a good start. In the top of the first, after a lead-off single and a groundout, the runner tried to score on a second base hit only to have the Sox work the relay from Daniel Richards in right to Blain Jackson at first to Zach Graddy at the plate to nab him at home.
Wilson struck out the next batter to end the inning.
In the home half, Green led off with a triple. Korey Thompson walked then Wilson bounced into a force at second that got Green home. On the very next pitch, Gogus launched his big fly to make it 3-0.
Wilson pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the second and again in the third. He struck out the last two batters he faced in the third to escape.
The Sox added a run in the bottom of the third. Walks to Thompson and Wilson set the table. They moved up on a passed ball and Thompson scrambled home on a groundout by Jackson.
Lakeside got on the board in the fourth. Taylor Street walked and, with one out, Jacob Bradshaw singled. Garrett Garner reached on an error to get a run home then Spencer Hecke delivered a two-run single. Josh Walker and Bo Ritter each walked to load the bases but Green found his stride. Taylor Austin popped to Green who then ended the uprising with a strikeout.
Garner, who relieved Ritter the Lakeside starter in the third, retired the side in order in the fourth and fifth so the game went to the sixth with Bryant clinging to a 4-3 lead. Bradshaw took over on the mound in the sixth and the Sox struck for two key runs. Gogus greeted the new hurler with a triple. Jackson’s grounder to second brought him home.
Tucker drew a walk and raced to third on a single by Richards. Trevor Ezell bounced into a force at second but beat the relay to first, avoiding the inning-ending doubleplay and Daniels scored to make it 6-3.
Lakeside got one of those back in the seventh on hits from Austin and Street. Austin then became Lakeside’s fourth pitcher in the bottom of the inning and Bryant started to blow the game up.
Thompson and Wilson walked then Gogus was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Though Thompson was thrown out at the plate, Jackson came through with a two-run triple. Tucker singled him in then came around himself on hits by Richards, Tryce Schalchlin and Graddy.
Caldwell struggled with his control in the top of the eighth. He hit Garner, Walker and Ritter. With one out, Gogus came on and struck out Austin. A walk forced in a run but a pop to third ended the inning.
Thompson started Bryant’s eighth with a single. He sprinted home on a triple by Wilson. Gogus’ sacrifice fly gave Bryant its dozen runs. Lakeside went down in order in the ninth as Gogus closed out the win.
Bryant 6, Little Rock Blue 2
Schalchlin and Jackson combined to shut out Little Rock Blue on three hits over five innings as the Sox built a 5-0 lead. Zach Cambron relieved in the sixth and issued a pair of walks. Both eventually scored on an error but the lefty retired the last six batters — four on strikes — to close out the win.
Wilson and Thompson each had two hits for the Sox though Blue starter Noah Burks shut them out in the first two innings, getting out of a bases-loaded the jam in the second.
But Bryant got on the board in the third against reliever Alex Harvey. Wilson singled up the middle and Thompson slapped a double to right. Gogus reached on an error as Wilson scored then Thompson came home on Schalchlin’s sacrifice fly.
In the fourth, Graddy reached on an error at short and was sacrificed to second. Jackson plugged the gap in right-center for a triple to make it 3-0. He held at third as Wilson beat out an infield hit but then Thompson got a squeeze bunt down to bring in Jackson. Tucker’s single to left drove in Wilson, making it 5-0.
After Blue got on the board in the sixth, the Sox added an insurance run in their half of the frame. Ezell was hit by a pitch and, with two down, sprinted home on Thompson’s double.
Texarkana 11, Bryant 2
A pitcher’s duel for much of the game, Texarkana scored late and often to turn the game into a rout. The Razorbacks managed just one run in the second and that held until the fifth when they eked out a second run. A third scored in the sixth.
In the meantime, the Sox were blanked on three hits.
Texarkana pushed in three runs in the seventh to take a 6-0 lead. Bryant answered with two in the bottom of the inning when Gogus reached on an error, Schalchlin walked and Richards, Thompson and Green singled. The inning ended with the bases full for Bryant.
Texarkana, however, scored three more in the eighth and two in the ninth to expand the lead.