Twinbill has bizarre end
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
“You don’t step on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with . . .”
As the late Jim Croce noted in his song “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim,” there are just some things you don’t do. If he’d been writing about baseball, he might have added that you don’t make fun of umpires, especially when they’re in pain.
That was the faux pas a few of the bench-jockeys for the Woodlawn AA American Legion team perpetrated Sunday in the second game of a doubleheader against the Bryant Black Sox AAA American Legion team at Ashley Park.
Though they appeared to be well on their way to a second lopsided loss, the game was cut short as a forfeit resulted from the events subsequent to the mishap.
Bryant, which won the opener of the twinbill 17-3, led 8-2 as the bottom of the fourth was beginning. The Sox’ Brad Chism, with an 0-2 count, took a pitch in the dirt from Woodlawn’s Chris West. The pitch got past catcher Kyle Lem and nailed homeplate umpire Melvin Caldwell.
It was the second time Caldwell had been hit while, for some reason, he worked the plate in both ends of the double-dip.
But a couple of Woodlawn players added insult to injury by hollaring what sounded like: “Ouch!” and “Nice shot!”
Caldwell took exception and came up the line reprimanding those in the Woodlawn dugout. As Caldwell began his trek back toward homeplate, field umpire Mike Chandler caught wind of something from the dugout and proceeded to toss all the occupants out of the game.
The Woodlawn coach walked to the first-base line and called the nine players he was left with off the field. Now, he may have just wanted to talk to them, to warn them to mind themselves or he may have been pulling them off in protest in order to forfeit the game. The umpires interpreted the move as the latter and the game was called.
The embrolio marred what had been a fine day for the Black Sox, whose bats were smoking.
In the opener Anthony Rose went 3-for-3 with two home runs and four runs batted in as the Sox banged out 13 hits to take advantage of six walks and six Woodlawn errors.
Right-hander Michael McClellan picked up the win. After his usual slow start — he surrendered two runs in the top of the first — he settled in and limited Woodlawn to just one hit over the next three innings. Tad Beene worked the fifth, gave up a walk and a single but got out of trouble when the Sox turned a doubleplay.
After Woodlawn scored two runs on four hits in the first, Bryant erupted for eight. An error opened the door as lead-off man Matt White reached base. He stole second then scored on a single to right by Dustin Morris.
After McClellan walked, Rose put the Sox ahead to stay with a towering three-run homer.
Another error kept the inning going as Beau Hamblin reached base. Chris Sory, who along with Beene and Zach Martin had two hits in the game, singled to right. Hamblin raced to third, sliding around a tag to get in safely. He scored when Beene reached on an error.
An out later, Martin walked to load the bases. A balk by Woodlawn starter ZacK Clement brought in a run then White delivered another with a sacrifice fly. And, when Morris’ bouncer to short drew a wild throw, Martin came home to make it 8-2.
McClellan, finding his curveball, struck out the side in the second and the Sox’ offense came back with five more. Rose led off the inning with a solo blast. An out later, Sory walked and, after a pitching change, Beene singled. A free pass to Mark Medlin loaded the bases then Martin cracked a double down the right-field line to make it 11-1.
Medlin scored on a sacrifice fly by Morris and Martin came home on an error.
Woodlawn managed a run with a hit batter, a double and a wild pitch in the fourth but, in the bottom of the inning, the Sox put the finishing touches on the win.
Martin and White singled to start things. An out later, McClellan chased both home with a double. Hunter Gregory singled and, with two down, Sory singled in a run. Gregory then scored when West, the center fielder, couldn’t hold on to Beene’s fly to left center.
In the second game, Bryant led 1-0 through two innings with Morris on the mound, limiting Woodlawn to a scratch infield hit in the first.
The Sox’ run came in the second when Hamblin walked, Sory singled him to third and Beene singled him home.
After Beene worked a 1-2-3 third on the mound for Bryant, the Sox’ erupted for seven runs. Morris singled but was forced at second on a grounder by McClellan. Rose walked then Hamblin singled to load the bags for Sory. He walked to force in a run then Beene singled and Sean Sebourn each singled to drive in runs. Beene scored on two-out balk then Matt White blasted a two-run homer to center to make it 8-2.
Ryan Sanders took the mound for the first time of the Sox in the top of the fourth and struggled at first, giving up a walk, a two-run homer to Cody Allison and an infield hit to Kyle Outlaw. But he settled in after that and retired the next three.
With the victories, Bryant had a 3-0 record going into Monday’s game at North Little Rock.