Bryant A squad answers Oxford’s challenge in fine form
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
Kyle Edmonson, the manager of the Bryant Black Sox A American Legion team, was a little anxious about taking on the well-regarded Little Rock Oxford Printing team Tuesday in just his team’s second game of the season. Edmonson had scheduled a doubleheader against Van Buren on the previous Sunday and the Sox were originally going to get to play at UALR’s Curran-Conway Field. But UALR’s trip to the Gulf South Conference Tournament through a wrench in that plan and the games were re-scheduled for Van Buren. Rain wound up preventing that. (Ironically, UALR’s Trojans were ousted from the GSC tourney in time that the game could’ve been played at Curran-Conway, as it turned out.)
So, the Sox just had one game, a 9-1 win over Bauxite, under their belts before taking on the Printers.
Edmonson wasn’t anxious for long.
The Sox erupted for eight runs in the second inning on the way to a 14-4 romp in five innings over Oxford.
A.J. Nixon and Clay Jones each had three hits in the game. Jones drove in four runs and Nixon two.
Daniel Minton picked up the win on the mound, holding Oxford without a hit over the first three innings. After a rough fourth, B.J. Wood relieved and closed out the win with a scoreless fifth.
Nixon and Jones each drove in runs in the first inning. Jeff Carpenter drew a lead-off walk. On a hit-and-run, Jackson Moseley grounded to short allowing Carpenter to reach second. Nixon then doubled him home.
After Nixon swiped third, Jones cracked a single to right to make it 2-0.
With a hit batter and a walk, Oxford was able to get runners to second and third in the top of the second, but Minton retired the next three to get out of the inning with the lead.
Bryant’s tell-tale second began with an infield hit by Patrick McBride. David Moore was hit by a pitch then Carpenter got down a sacrifice bunt that not only moved the runners up but, when it drew a wild throw, allowed both of them to score. Carpenter wound up at second and, after Moseley walked, Nixon belted his second RBI double to make it 5-0. Jones followed with a two-bagger that chased home two.
When Minton reached on an error and Justin Woods was hit by a pitch, the Sox had the bases juiced once more. Andrew Norman then greeted a new Oxford pitcher with a two-run single to left. He was the ninth straight Bryant batter to reach base.
After Oxford finally got an out, Moore capped the scoring in the inning with a sacrifice fly to score Woods and make it 10-0.
After Minton retired the side in order in the top of the third, the Sox added two more to their total. Moseley walked, swiped second, took third on a passed ball and, after Jones drew a one-out walk, scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Minton. And, when the fly was dropped, Jones wound up on third and Minton on first. A wild pitch allowed Jones to score.
Eric Sessions singled to lead off the Oxford fourth, the first hit off of Minton. Paul Heer followed with a single just inside the third-base bag. With a pair of errors playing into it, the Printers were able to score four times.
But the Sox answered with another two-run uprising in the bottom of the inning. Carpenter singled, stole second, took third on an infield hit by Nixon and scored on another scratch hit by Jones. A bloop single by Minton brought Nixon home.
In the fifth, Oxford put runners at first and third with one out, but Wood picked off Andrew Dietrich at first then struck out Jay Turner to end the game.
At 2-0, the Sox were scheduled to play at North Little Rock on Wednesday, May 23, before beginning action in the Benton Memorial Day Tournament on Saturday at 10 a.m., against Sheridan.