Duo spins abbreviated perfect game
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).
By ROB PATRICK
No matter the level of competition or the number of innings, a no-hitter is something special for a pitcher. And a perfect game? That’s outstanding under any circumstance.
Admittedly, the Hot Springs A American Legion team, starting anew after Hot Springs didn’t field a Legion team in several summers, is not the best team the Bryant Black Sox Junior Legion team will face this season. Nonetheless, the combination of Matt Neal and Tyler Forsyth not only held them without a hit when the two teams met on Tuesday, May 20, they were perfect.
In the four-inning run-rule win for the Sox, Neal set down all nine batters he faced including the final six on strikes then Forsyth retired all three batters he pitched to in the fourth, two more on strikes to complete the perfecto.
The Sox took advantage of nine Hot Springs errors and seven walks with nine hits in the 15-0 romp that improved their record to 2-0 on the young season.
A pair of two-run hits by Ben Wells highlighted the Sox’ work on offense. Sergio Arias had two hits, was on base four times, stole three bases and scored four runs while driving in a pair.
Neal had one of the quickest first innings you can imagine. On his first pitch, Hot Springs’ Randy Young liked out to Wells at first. On his second, Devin Walters hit a pop up that Neal handled. On the third, Brett Kendig lined to Wells to retire the side.
The Sox took advantage of four errors to score five times in the first. Arias walked, stole second then third, drawing a wild throw which allowed him to score to put the first run on the board. Brady Butler reached on an error, Wells walked and Austin Queck’s grounder to short was misplayed to load the bases for Brennan Bullock. On a 1-0 delivery from Walters, Bullock laced a single to left to drive in two.
Hunter Alford’s RBI single made it 4-0 then Nathan Hines picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to right.
In the second, Arias led off again and singled. He swiped second and, with one down, raced home on Butler’s base hit to left. When the ball was misplayed in the outfield, Butler took second. Wells flew out to right and Butler tagged and went to third. So, after Queck walked, he left early from first and drew a late throw to second allowing Butler to race home, making it 7-0.
A four-run third began with Alford getting hit by a pitch. Hines and Austin Benning drew walks and Arias cracked a two-run single.
Benning was picked off third but walks to Jimi Easterling and Butler set the table again and Wells cleared it with a single to right-center.
The Sox ended the game with four more runs in the fourth to make it a 15-after-3 victory. Benning reached on a one-out error, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on another errant pickoff throw. Arias walked, Easterling beat out an infield hit, B.J. Ellis was hit by a pitch and Wells doubled.