Junior Sox outlast Midwest Nationals, improve to 3-0 at Classic
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).
BENTONVILLE — The Bryant Black Sox Junior American Legion team out slugged the Midwest Nationals, keyed by a four-run fourth, on the way to a 9-6 victory at Bentonville High School.They continued through pool play unbeaten through three games in the 16U division at the Chad Wolffe Classic.
The Sox, now 17-2, will wrap up pool play on Saturday at 11:15 a.m., against the Prodigy Prospects at Prairie Grove High School.
J.T. Parker and Will Hathcote each had two hits on Friday as Bryant used nine hits to take advantage of eight walks. Noah Davis slugged a solo home run.
The Sox trailed 5-4 going into the fourth. Drew Hatman, who relieved starter Logan White in the third, earned the victory as Hayden Thompson picked up the save with two shutout innings in which he allowed one hit and one walk.
It was a seesaw game early on. Bryant took the lead initially with two runs in the opening inning. Davis reached on a one-out error to instigate the uprising. Ryan Riggs drew a walk then Parker ripped an RBI double. Hathcote got Riggs home with a groundout.
Midwest got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning with a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly.
Despite a pair of walks, the Sox were unable to tack on in the second and, in turn, the Nationals scored twice to take the lead, keyed by an RBI triple. They loaded the bases after that but White got out of the jam with no further damage.
Trailing 3-2, the Sox scratched out a pair of runs in the top of the third to regain the upper hand. Riggs reached on a miscue and Parker drew a walk. With one out, Gavin Burton waited out a pass to fill the sacks. With Josh Turner at the plate, a passed ball allowed the tying run to score. Turner snapped the tie with a bloop singlets left that got Parker home.
The bases remained loaded with one out but the Sox couldn’t muster anything more as the Nationals wriggled out of the jam.
And they used another RBI triple along with a pair of singles to produce the 5-4 lead going into the fourth.
Bryant’s bust-out inning began with a walk to Lawson Speer. Though he was forced at second on Davis’ grounder to third, a passed ball allowed Davis to reach second. He took third on a groundout by Riggs, then Parker came through with a single to left to make it 5-5.
An infield hit by Hathcote set the table for Burton, who singled in Parker. After a pitching change, Turner walked to load the bases and Dakota Clay yanked an RBI single to left. Blaine Sears capped the inning with an RBI single to make it 8-5.
A single and two hit batsmen loaded the bases for Midwest in the bottom of the fourth. A sacrifice fly made it 8-6. But that’s all they could get as Thompson got out of the mess.
Davis led off the top of the fifth with his homer then Thompson worked around a lead-off single in the home fifth to close it out.