TEXARKANA — Blake Patterson allowed just one unearned run on three hits over eight innings and[more] Dakota Besancon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth as the Sport Shop Black Sox Junior American Legion team of Bryant edged the Texarkana Razorbacks, 2-1, on Tuesday night.
Originally scheduled as a doubleheader, the teams agreed to play one nine-inning game.
It was the Sox’ fourth straight win and seventh in the last eight games. They improved to 9-5 on the year going into a game at Benton on Thursday.
“Our kids were tough,” stated Sport Shop manager Tyler Pickett whose team is made up primarily of 15- and 16-year-old players. “We’re thinking that was (Texarkana)’s AA (18-and-under) team.”
Bryant got all of its runs in the third inning but had runners all over the bases much of the game, thanks in part to 10 walks and two hit batsmen. The Sox finished with five hits with Hunter Oglesby and Jimbo Seale accounting for two apiece.
After stranding runners at second and third in the second, the Sox got a base hit from Drew Tipton to open the third. Patterson grounded into a force then was thrown out trying to steal. But a walk to C.J. Phillips kept the inning going. Oglesby beat out a slow roller on the infield. And when the late throw to first was wild, the duo moved up a base. Besancon walked to load the bases then walks to Seale and Weston Jones forced in the runs.
Texarkana made a pitching change and Ty Mitley got out of the inning but Patterson had all the runs he’d need.
The Bryant right-hander retired the first five batters he faced in the game then hit Hayden Phillips with a pitch. But Jake Alexander flew out to Dalton Holt in left to end the second.
Texarkana got its first hit in the bottom of the third, a one-out double by Nathan Stubbs. But Patterson got lead-off man Zane Howard to pop to Tipton at second then struck out Colton McMahan to keep the Hogs off the board.
He proceeded to work around a walk and a base hit in the fourth.
Mitley pitched around Oglesby’s double in the fifth then Texarkana scratched out its lone run in the bottom of the frame. Austin Kirkpatrick drew a lead-off walk and stole second. He took third on an error but remained there as Patterson retired the next two batters. But a two-out error allowed the run to score.
With McMahan at second, Patterson got Kyle Duncan to fly to left to end the inning. He worked around his own one-out error in the sixth then retired the side in order in the seventh.
The Razorbacks threatened again in the eighth when McMahan singled and stole second then advanced to third. An intentional walk to Duncan was followed by a grounder to Phillips at third. McMahan broke for the plate but Phillips fired to Seale in time for the out. With runners at second and third, Patterson ended his moundwork with a flurry, recording his sixth and seventh strikeouts, sending it to the ninth.
The Sox loaded the bases in their final at-bat as Andrew Kincaid walked, Holt was hit by a pitch and Tipton drew a free pass. But Trey Jeans, the third Texarkana pitcher, struck out the side.
Besancon, however, needed just five pitches to set the Hogs down in the bottom of the ninth, earning a save.