Black Sox’ bats crunch Conway
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).
CONWAY — Through seven games this season, the Bryant Black Sox AAA American Legion team had four wins but all had come against AA teams (that is, 18-and-under squads from smaller towns and school districts). They had suffered one-run losses in each of their games against AAA teams, two against North Little Rock and one to Pine Bluff. Though both of those AAA squads are generally considered among the best in the state, the Sox were none the less intent on getting over that AAA hump when they traveled to Conway Wednesday, May 31, to take on another of those highly-regarded foes.
And, with lefty Anthony Rose pitching perfectly for the first three innings, the Sox piled up a 15-0 lead on the way to run-ruling Conway’s Prudential Hawks Rockies, 15-7, at Wampus Cat Field.
Tad Beene went 4-for-4 with a home run and three runs batted in and Dustin Morris and Beau Hamblin each had three hits to lead the Black Sox’ offensive explosion which came despite the absence of slugger Michael McClellan, who leads the team in homers.
Hamblin drove in five runs himself.
Rose, though unable to complete a perfect game, earned the win, his first decision of the season in three appearances, and struck out 10 in five innings.
Bryant took the lead in the opening inning when, with one out, Beene and Morris rapped singles to center, Rose pulled a base hit to left to load the bases and Hamblin came through with an RBI single.
In the second, Ryan Sanders smacked a one-out single up the middle to get a four-run uprising under way. After a wild pitch allowed Sanders to reach second, Matt White’s pop to first was dropped. Beene singled to right to load the bases for Morris who delivered an two-run single to center to make it 3-0.
With two down, Hamblin cracked a two-run double to cap the inning.
The Sox blew the game open in the fourth. A lead-off walk to White set the stage. Beene singled up the middle then the duo worked a double steal. Morris singled in another run then Rose walked to load the bases for Hamblin, who came through again with a two-run, two-bagger into the left-field corner.
Cody Graddy was hit by a pitch to keep the inning going then Chris Sory singled to plate a run and Sanders walked to force in another.
White cracked a two-run double to left then Beene smashed a three-run homer to make it 14-0. Rose finished off the onslaught with a solo blast.
It took three Conway pitchers to get through the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, Conway’s Josh Fleming ended Rose’s perfecto with a single up the middle. The Rockies went on to score three times in the fourth and four more in the fifth but couldn’t avoid the eight-run rule that ended the game after five innings.
At 5-3, the Sox were set to take on rival Benton, another of the state’s best teams, on Friday, June 2.