Loss to Sheridan prevents Junior Sox from advancing

By Rob Patrick

BAUXITE — The Bryant Black Sox Junior American Legion team didn’t make it to the championship round of the wood bat tournament at Bauxite High School after suffering an 11-4 loss to the Sheridan AA team but head coach Darren Hurt said his team got what it needed from the tourney, short of winning it.

The top two teams from each of two four-team pools advanced to Monday’s championship round. Bryant, finishing 1-1-1, matched Maumelle, the team the Sox tied 0-0 on Saturday, but the first tie breaker was runs allowed and the 11 that Sheridan put up proved too many for the Sox who shut out two opponents on Saturday.[more]

“We wanted to look at a lot of different pitchers,” Hurt said. “And we kept everybody on a pitch count and didn’t over-throw anybody. That was goal, just to see a lot of pitchers.”

Five different pitchers got into Saturday’s two games, two more threw Sunday with right-hander Matt Neal returning for a second stint after working in Monday’s first game, the 0-0 tie with Maumelle.

The Sox themselves had only managed one run on five hits on Saturday. Sunday, they faced a strong right-hander, Tyler Lathan, of Sheridan but managed four runs on six hits.

“We had some good shots on him and we squared a few up that were right at people,” Hurt noted. “I thought we hit the ball a lot better today. We did some things offensively. It was just that a couple of innings to away from us.”

Hurt agreed that it might’ve been a foreshadowing of how the game was going to go when, in the top of the first, Sheridan’s Sawyer Dunigan hit a grounder to Jordan Taylor at short for what appeared to be a routine out. His throw was on target and first baseman Blake Davidson had it but the throw blew the strings out of Davidson’s mitt, breaking completely through the webbing and Dunigan was ruled safe at first.

Dunigan stole second then Landon Moore hit a bouncer to Chris Joiner at third. Joiner looked Dunigan back to second but then his throw to first was too late to get Moore. Lathan, who helped his own cause all day with three hits, singled to left to drive in Dunigan.

Bryant’s Landon Pickett then got Zach Perkins to bounce to second but, when Moore broke from third, Ozzie Hurt charged him then fired to Joiner at third. Moore just go back in under the throw but the Sox were then faced with a bases-loaded situation with one out and a run already in.

Pickett, however, got Brandon Rieve to pop to Davidson at first. And when A.J. Phillips popped to Taylor at short, Pickett had escaped after allowing one tainted run.

And Bryant got that back in the bottom of the inning. Joiner reached on a one-out error then was on the move as Pickett bounced out to second, thus avoiding what might’ve turned into an inning-ending doubleplay. Moments later, Taylor grounded a single up the middle to drive in the run.

Lathan, too, got out of a jam with just that one run scoring. A walk to Dylan Cross and a single up the middle off the second-base back by Davidson loaded the bases before Lathan ended the uprising with a strikeout.

Pickett worked around a one-out single and a two-out walk in the top of the second and the Sox managed to take a lead in the bottom of the inning. With two down, Caleb Garrett ripped a drive to right that went to the fence. He legged out a triple and, moments later, scored on a base hit by Joiner.

Garrett tried his hand at pitching for the Sox, seeing his first moundwork since Babe Ruth League. He was greeted by Lathan’s single but he retired the next two before Phillips’ second hit. A pitch later, Phillips broke early for second and got just enough attention from Garrett to allow Lathan to take off from third. Garrett turned and fired to the plate but Lathan managed to score when Cross, the Bryant catcher, couldn’t hold the throw as the Sheridan baserunner crashed into him.

Lathan, on the mound, settled in during the third. He retired the side in order in both the third and the fourth as his teammates built a lead.

In the top of the fourth, Eric Eggburn doubled, took third on a bunt by Nick Ware and scored on a base hit by Dunigan. When Garrett got down 3-1 to Moore, Neal came on in relief. Dunigan swiped second and took third on an errant throw. He then scored when Moore grounded out to third, making it 4-2.

In the fifth, Rieve walked, Phillips singled and a pair of wild pitches allowed them to come around to score as Eggburn walked.

Trailing 6-2 and now knowing they had to win to advance, the Sox mounted a rally in the home fifth. Neal drew a walk but was forced at second on a grounder to third by Garrett. Joiner was then hit by a pitch and Pickett singled in a run. Joiner took third as Taylor grounded into a force at second but then Cross came through after fouling off a pair of two-strike deliveries, lining an RBI single to left.

With the potential go-ahead run at the plate, however, Lathan got a strikeout to end the outburst.

Sheridan then scored five times in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach as time was running out. Rieve and Eggburn each singled in a run and Phillips doubled in a pair.

Lathan retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning as the time limit expired.

The Junior Sox are scheduled to return to action on Wednesday, June 2, at home against Lake Hamilton.


Sheridan ab r h bi Bryant ab r h bi

Ware, 3b 2 0 0 0 Garrett, cf-p 3 2 1 0

Dunigan, ss 2 3 1 1 Joiner, 3b-cf-lf 2 2 1 1

Moore, cf 4 0 1 1 Pickett, p-3b 3 0 1 1

Lathan, p 4 2 3 1 Taylor, ss 3 0 1 1

Perkins, 2b 4 1 1 0 Cross, c 2 0 1 1

Rieve, 1b 3 2 1 1 Davidson, 1b 3 0 1 0

Phillips, rf 4 2 3 2 Hurt, 2b 3 0 0 0

Boatright, lf 2 0 0 0 Jobe, rf 3 0 0 0

Nannemann, lf 2 0 0 0 Jamison, lf 1 0 0 0

Eggburn, c 3 0 3 1 Neal, p 1 0 0 0

Nannemann, cr 0 1 0 0

Boatright, cr 0 0 0 0

Totals 30 11 13 7 Totals 24 4 6 4

Sheridan 101 225 — 11

BRYANT 110 020 — 4

E—Dunigan, Davidson, Cross, Neal. LOB—Sheridan 8, Bryant 5. 2B—Eggburn, Phillips. 3B—Garrett. SB—Dunigan, Phillips, Lathan. S— Ware 2.

Pitching ip r er h bb so


Lathan (W) 6 4 3 6 2 8


Pickett 2 1 0 3 1 2

Garrett (L) 1.1 3 2 4 0 0

Neal 2.2  7 7 6 1 2

HBP—Joiner (by Lathan). WP—Neal 2. PB—Cross. 

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