PRAIRIE GROVE — The Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team managed just two hits, but they were able to scratch out two runs and pitchers Blaine Sears and Tyler Bates made that hold up in a 2-1 win over the Kansas Curve 18U team to open play in the Big Fire Hawg World Series on Thursday at Prairie Grove High School.
Sears scattered three hits over the first five shutout innings. Bates finished up allowing an unearned run in the top of the seventh, leaving the potential tying run at second.
Bryant’s lone hits were singles by Noah Davis and Gavin Burton.
The game was scoreless going into the bottom of the third. Sears had pitched around a pair of singles in the first inning, retired the side in order in the second then worked around a two-out error in the third.
The Sox, meanwhile, had managed just two baserunners as Colby Morrow walked to start the second and Ethan Andrews drew a free pass to start the third.
After the walk to Andrews, Sears sacrificed him to second. With two down, Davis cracked his single to center for the Sox’ first hit. Conner Martin was struck by a pitch to load the bases and Morrow walked again to force in the game’s first run. A passed ball allowed Davis to make it 2-0.
In the fourth, Kansas threatened with a two-out hit batsman and an outfield error that had runners at first and third. But Sears got the next batter to foul out to catcher Ryan Riggs to keep it scoreless.
A one-out single in the top of the fifth was erased when the Sox turned a doubleplay.
Bates retired the first two he faced in the top of the sixth then an error kept the inning going. But he ended the inning with a strikeout to keep it 2-0.
The Sox loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning when, with one out, Lawson Speer was struck by a 1-1 delivery and, with two down, Burton lined a single to center for the team’s second knock. Bates drew a walk to load the bases, but they were all stranded.
A one-out double in the top of the seventh gave the Curve a chance to score. Bates got the second out on a pop to Davis at short. Bates appeared to be out of the inning when he grabbed a comebacker. But a wild throw to first allowed the run to score and the batter to reach second.
He induced another comebacker, however, and this time completed the play with a throw to first, ending the game.
The Sox were set to play another pool play game on Friday against an NBA Marucci 17U team.