Photos by Rick Nation
By Rob Patrick
Right-hander Bailey Bowers tossed a five-inning no-hitter to cap off a doubleheader sweep after[more] the Everett Black Sox Junior American Legion team overcame a 7-3 deficit in the first game for a 9-8 walk-off win over the Texarkana Razorbacks Monday night at Bryant High School Field.
Bryant and Texarkana are set as the top two seeds for the Zone 4 Junior Legion tournament at Hot Springs Lakeside starting Thursday. Both received first-round byes and will debut at the tournament on Friday; Bryant at 5 p.m., against the winner of the first-round game between Malvern and the Little Rock Eagles; and Texarkana at 7:30 p.m., against the winner of Thursday’s contest between Genoa Central and the Little Rock Pythons.
The Sox improved to 22-0 on the season with the sweep. They are set to wrap up the regular-season schedule tonight at Lakeside following the Sport Shop Sox’ game at 6.
Bryant 9, Texakana 8
Hunter Oglesby’s bloop single to center that was nearly tracked down by Texarkana’s impressive center fielder Zach Phillips with two out in the bottom of the seventh drove home Drew Tipton for the walk-off win. Tipton, who was on base eight times in his nine plate appearances in the two games, had doubled to open the inning, tagged and went to third on a deep fly to left by Dalton Holt and was there after Jordan Gentry was hit by a pitch with two away, bringing up Oglesby.
Holt, who had relieved in the top of the second, had shut out Texarkana from the third through the sixth innings. He retired 15 of 18 batters he faced going into the seventh with the help from his own defensive gem along with others by Harrison Dale at short, Tipton in center and Brandan Warner at third.
The Sox, however, could only trim a run off the 7-3 deficit in the fourth against Texarkana reliever Hunter McGilberry. They broke through in the sixth, rallying for four runs to take an 8-7 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Texarkana’s Brandon White doubled, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a squeeze bunt by Zach Harrington.
But Holt got McGilberry to line to Evan Lee in left to end the inning and the Sox went to work to win it in the bottom of the inning against Texarkana’s third pitcher, Steven Boyce.
The game did not get off to a scintillating start. Each team presented the other with a gift basket in the first inning with seven runs scoring between the teams, all of them unearned.
For Texarkana, Phillips walked but out on a force as Nick Myers bounced to Warner at third. White was hit by a pitch then Trevor Danley hit a tapper to Blake Patterson at first. Patterson looked to second but the speedy Myers was nearly there. When he turned to toss to Trey Breeding, the pitcher who was covering the bag, the ball got away as Breeding looked away thinking the throw was going to second.
Another error on a grounder to Dale at short by Harrington made it 2-0 then McGilberry picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly and Boyce singled to make it 4-0, what may be the biggest deficit the Junior Sox have faced all season.
In the bottom of the inning, however, Texarkana gave back. Tipton drilled a double into the left-field corner but that was the lone hit of the frame. Holt walked then an errant pickoff attempt by catcher Jordan Izzo allowed them to move up to second and third. Lee’s grounder to second got Tipton home and when the throw to first was dropped, he reached as well. Patterson followed with a ground-hugging shot that went through the legs of the second baseman Myers and scored both Holt and Lee, who had stolen second, making it 4-3.
But Harrington, the Texarkana pitcher got the first out, issued a walk to Dale then retired the next two to preserve the lead.
In the second, Patrick Flanagan belted a lead-off double for the Razorbacks and singles by Phillips and Myers make it 5-3.
Holt relieved Breeding, the hard-luck starter for the Sox, and induced a tapper toward third that was booted, loading the bases. Danley’s sacrifice fly and Harrington’s grounder to short brought in runs to make it a four-run Texarkana lead again.
Harrington pitched around a walk and an error in the bottom of the inning to keep it that way. It helped that White tracked down a deep drive to left by Tipton for the first out, the only time the Razorbacks were able to retire him the whole day.
McGilberry relieved in the third and Oglesby was robbed of extra bases by Phillips in deep center as the Sox were retired in order. In the fourth, though, Connor Tatum lined a single to right with one down. Tipton walked and, after Holt was robbed of a hit by H
arrington at third, a wild pitch allowed Tatum to score as Lee drew a walk.
Patterson walked too to load the bases with two down but McGilberry escaped when Oglesby rapped into a force at third with Harrington making another nifty play.
Holt enjoyed his first 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fifth with all three outs coming on grounder to Dale at short, who made a nice play adjusting to a bad hop. In the sixth, Tipton chased down a long fly to center by Flanagan and Warner tracked down a foul pop near the third-base dugout, catching the ball as he was falling down.
Bryant’s sixth-inning rally began with Tipton drawing another free pass. Hot was hit by a pitch and, with one out, Patterson got the scoring started with an RBI single to right.
McGilberry then hit Oglesby with a 1-2 pitch and, a pitch later, struck Dale as well, forcing in a run which made it 7-6.
Texarkana brought Harrington, the starter, back for a second stint on the mound and Warner greeted him with a shot into the hole. Though Boyce fielded the ball, his throw to second was too late as Gentry, running for Patterson, crossed the plate with the tying run.
And when Bowers hit a hot grounder to nearly the same spot, there again was no play as Oglesby scored to give Bryant the 8-7 lead, setting up the dramatic finish.
Bryant 10, Texarkana 0
Bowers allowed just two base-runners in the nightcap. Myers reached on an error in the top of the first and Izzo was hit by a pitch in the third. After that, the Bryant hurler retired the last nine batters in a row. He struck out seven in the game without a walk and made a fine play defensively to end the third inning.
Riding the wave from the opening win, the Sox jumped on the Razorbacks with three runs in the first and two in the second. Dale had three hits in the game. Tipton was on base all four times with two hits and two walks, scoring three runs and stealing three bases.
The first of those free passes and both of the steals came to open the bottom of the first inning. Lee was plunked by a pitch from White, the Texarkana starter, and stole second. After Patterson was struck by another delivery, a wild pitch allowed the first run to score. And when Devin Dupree’s shot got past Boyce, two more scored.
In the second, Gentry singled with one out and Tipton beat out a bunt for a hit. Dale looped one to left-center that fell in for a hit, loading the bases for Lee, who delivered a sacrifice fly. Patterson followed with an RBI single to right to make it 5-0.
It was 7-0 after the fourth when Gentry reached on an error and Tipton ripped his triple to left-center. Dale beat out an infield hit as Tipton held at third. Lee picked up another RBI when he grounded into a force at second.
After Bowers struck out the last two batters in the fifth, the Sox made it a run-rule win with three in the home half. Oglesby singled then Warner hit a grounder to deep short. A throw to second in hopes of a force was wild and they wound up at first and third. Warner took off on a steal of second and drew a throw, allowing Oglesby to score.
With Warner at second, Breeding rifled an RBI single to center. The Sox then loaded the bases on a walk to Tipton and a single to center by Dale. Lee ended it there by lining a single to center.
BRYANT EVERETT 9-10, TEXARKANA 8-0
Razorbacks ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi
Phillips, cf 3 1 1 0 Tipton, cf 3 3 2 0
Myers, 2b 4 2 1 1 Holt, rf-p 3 2 0 0
White, lf 3 2 1 0 Lee, lf 4 1 0 1
Danley, 1b 3 1 1 2 Patterson, 1b 3 0 1 2
Harrington, p-3b-ss 3 1 0 3 Gentry, pr-2b 0 1 0 0
McGilberry, 3b-p 3 0 0 1 Dupree, dh 1 0 0 0
Boyce, ss-p 3 0 2 1 Oglesby, rf-1b 3 1 1 1
Izzo, c 3 0 0 0 Dale, ss-2b 2 0 0 1
Flanagan, rf 3 1 1 0 Warner, 3b 4 0 1 1
Bowers, c 4 0 2 1
Tatum, 2b-ss 3 1 1 0
Breeding, p 0 0 0 0
Totals 18 8 7 8 Totals 30 9 8 7
Texarkana 430 000 1 — 8
BRYANT 300 105 1 — 9
Two out when winning run scored.
E—Breeding, Dale, Danley, Izzo, Myers, Warner, Phillips. DP—Texarkana 1. LOB—Texarkana 4, Bryant 12. 2B—Tipton 2, Flanagan, White. SB—Lee 2, Harrington. S—Harrington. SF—McGilberry, Danley.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Harrington 2 3 0 1 3 1
McGilberry 3.1 5 4 3 4 0
Harrington 0.2 0 0 2 0 0
Boyce (L) 0.2 1 1 2 0 0
Breeding 1 7 3 4 1 1
Holt (W) 6 1 1 3 0 2
Breeding faced three batters in the second.
HBP—Holt, Oglesby, Dale (by McGilberry), Gentry (by Boyce). WP—Holt, McGilberry. PB—Izzo.
Razorbacks ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi
Phillips, cf 2 0 0 0 Tipton, cf 2 3 2 1
Myers, rf 2 0 0 0 Dale, ss 4 0 3 0
White, p 2 0 0 0 Lee, lf 2 1 1 3
Flanagan, p 0 0 0 0 Patterson, 1b 2 1 1 1
Danley, c 2 0 0 0 Dupree, dh 3 0 0 1
Harrington, ss 2 0 0 0 Oglesby, rf 3 1 1 0
McGilberry, lf 2 0 0 0 Warner, 3b 3 1 1 0
Boyce, 3b 2 0 0 0 Breeding, c 3 1 1 1
Izzo, 1b 1 0 0 0 Gentry, 2b 3 2 1 0
Sanford, 2b 1 0 0 0 Bowers, p 0 0 0 0
Totals 16 0 0 0 Totals 25 10 11 7
E—Gentry, Boyce 2, Harrington. LOB—Texarkana 2, Bryant 7. 3B—Tipton. SB—Tipton 2, Lee 2, Patterson, Oglesby, Warner. SF—Lee.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
White (L) 4 7 4 7 1 2
Flanagan 0.1 2 1 4 0 1
Bowers (W) 5 0 0 0 0 7
HBP—Lee, Patterson (by White). WP—White.