Yant sparks win over Hot Springs
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J.J. Yant snapped a 3-3 tie with a two-out RBI double in the fourth inning then pitched three frames of two-hit relief as the Bryant Bowen-Hefley Black Sox AAA American Legion team earned a 7-4 victory over Hot Springs Play It Again Sports Saturday at Ashley Park.
Yant’s was one of only five hits for the Black Sox who benefited from 10 walks by Hot Springs pitchers.
Anthony Rose picked up the victory in relief of starter Allen Young. Rose also cracked a three-run homer that gave Bryant its first lead in the second inning.
Hot Springs took the initial lead in the top of the first on a lead-off double by Brandon Rowland, a sacrifice bunt by Chris Slaton and a sacrifice fly by Clay Combs.
Young pitched around a hit batsman and a walk to keep it 1-0.
In the Hot Springs second, Young surrendered a pair of one-out singles but struck out Rowland and Slaton to strand the runners.
And the Sox came back to take the lead in the bottom of the inning on walks to Logan Critz and Josh Caldwell and Rose’s blast.
A single by Young and a walk to Dustin Morris produced a pitching change for Hot Springs as Tim Ward relieved Combs. An out later, Brandon Fitts singled up the middle to load the bases but Ward worked out of the mess to keep it 3-1.
Hot Springs tied it in the top of the third. A pair of walks and a single loaded the bases and Rose came on to relieve Young. An error and a steal of home produced the two runs but Rose fanned the first two batters he faced to end it at that.
Bryant’s lead-grabbing fourth began with a one-out walk to Billy Landers who stole second and drew an errant throw that allowed him to take third. With two down, Yant then sliced a 3-1 delivery to the gap in right-center to put the Sox back on top.
After working around a hit batsman in the top of the fourth, Rose was victimized by an error to start the fifth and gave way to Yant. A two-out single by Larry McDaniel put runners at first and second but Yant struck out a pinch-hitter to preserve the lead.
He gave up a one-out single in the sixth but nothing else then, in the bottom of the inning after an extended rain delay, the Sox got some insurance. Morris slapped a one-out single to left to get things started, then walks by Rowland, the third Hot Springs pitcher, to Landers, Fitts and Yant forced in a run. A groundout by Kris Kuykendall plated a run and another scored on a wild pitch.
Hot Springs added a cosmetic tally in the seventh on a walk, a pair of stolen bases and an error with two outs but Yant wound up striking out the side around all of that to end the game.