By Rob Patrick
As the score might indicate, a lot of significant stuff happened in the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team’s 17-9 win over Hot Springs Rams AA squad at Bryant High School Field Friday night.
There was familiar stuff like Hunter Mayall hammering out four hits and Jordan Taylor belting three. Landon Pickett crushed his fifth home run and, as he has for the season as a whole, drove in more runs than he had hits. Too, after a bit of a rocky start, right-hander Tyler Nelson pitched well.
But there were also a couple of breakthroughs. Offensively, Hayden Daniel, who was mired in a 1 for 19 slump coming in, bashed his way out of it with a 4-for-4 night. In addition, 6-7 right-hander Quinton Motto, returning from injury, took the mound for the first time since his first and last appearance for the Bryant High School team on March 11. With an efficient fourth inning in relief of Nelson, he wound up getting the win even though he struggled in his second inning of work.
Pickett, the fourth Bryant hurler, wound up with a save. He came in with the Sox leading 12-9 and retired four of the last five batters. He needed one pitch to end Lakeside’s three-run sixth then Bryant pushed five runs home in the bottom of the inning to make the seventh a little more relaxed.
The Sox piled up 20 hits in the game and only struck out once. Even that one strikeout was notable. It came in the sixth with Taylor at third. Pickett was at the plate against Lakeside reliver Garrett Garner. He fouled off a 2-2 pitch then swung and missed a ball that hit him. Taylor ran home and Pickett headed to first but the umpire ordered Taylor back to third and called Pickett out on strikes. The swing and a miss took precedence over the plunking and when the ball hit the batter, it was dead as it is anytime a batter is drilled.
It was a bit of a rugged start for both teams. As the top and the bottom of the first started with errors. Those both led to two-run innings. For Lakeside, Jacob Bradshaw reached. An out later, Taylor Parker singled and Logan Derozier was hit by a Nelson delivery. Garner came through with an RBI single but then Nelson got Spencer Hecke to tap back to the mound. Nelson got the force with a throw to catcher Zach Graddy but, when Graddy tried to fire to first for an inning-ending doubleplay, his throw hit Hecke and Derozier scored.
Bryant manager Darren Hurt tried to make the case that Hecke had been running to first inside the baseline and was thus out for interfering with Graddy’s throw but his appeal was denied.
However, Nelson brought the inning to an end at that point by picking off Garner at third, leaving Tye Boudra-Bland standing at the plate.
In the bottom of the inning, Mayall reached on an error, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Tyler Brown. Singles by Taylor and Pickett brought Brown around for the second tally.
Nelson retired the last six batters he faced before giving way to Motto in the fourth.
Daniel got back on track with hustle. He hit a slow roller to the right side that Derozier, the Rams’ starting pitcher, tracked down. But with first baseman Grant Carter ranging over to try to field the ball too, first base was left uncovered. Derozier had to try to out-run Daniel to first and he couldn’t do it.
With Daniel on the move, Mayall pulled a single into right. And when he drew a wild throw as he stole second, Daniel scored to give the Sox a 3-2 lead. Mayall took third on the error and followed Daniel home on a sacrifice fly to right by Brown.
An infield hit by Taylor kept the inning going. Pickett’s single to left was kicked, putting runners at second and third. Taylor scored on a wild pitch and Pickett came in on a base hit by Josh Pultro, making it 6-2.
Nelson’s second 1-2-3 innings was followed by a five-run outburst by the Sox. Marcus Wilson singled to open the inning but was out trying to steal. With two down, Daniel lined his second hit up the middle to get things revved up again. He was on the run again when Mayall shot one inside the bag at third for an RBI double.
Mayall stole third, Brown walked and Taylor reached on an error to make it 8-0.
A passed ball moved the runners to second and third as Pickett worked the count to 3-0. He fouled off a pitch then put a charge into the 3-1 delivery for a three-run jack.
Pickett wound up with four runs batted in on three hits. He has now knocked in 26 on 16 hits — 10 for extra bases — this summer.
In the top of the fourth, Motto was greeted by Derozier’s single to center. But the Sox turned a doubleplay behind him and when Hecke bounced out to Taylor at short, Motto had eased through his first inning.
In the fifth, however, he hit Boudra-Bland and walked Carter. He came back to strike out Taylor Street but a passed ball allowed a run and a base hit by Bradshaw and a single by Josh Walker made it 11-4.
Tryce Schalchlin relieved for Bryant and, though a run scored on a wild pitch and another came in on a double by Derozier, he got out of the inning, snagging a line drive back to the mound for the third out.
The Sox pushed a run home in the bottom of the inning. Daniel legged out another infield hit on a chopper to short, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Mayall.
Bryant loaded the bases but Derozier managed to escape further damage to complete his moundwork for the game.
Lakeside trimmed three more runs off the margin in the top of the sixth, taking advantage of a walk, two hit batsmen, a bunt single and an errant throw to get it done. Pickett came on with two down and a man at first and got the final out on a force.
Consecutive singles by Wilson, Graddy, Daniel and Mayall resulted in two runs in the home sixth. With one out, Taylor lashed a two-run double to left. He advanced on a wild pitch before the bizarre strikeout resulted in the second out. On the very next pitch, however, Pultro got Taylor home with a single to shallow right-center to make it 17-9.
Derozier’s third hit of the game, a single, started the top of the seventh but Pickett fanned Garner, got Hecke to ground into a force and ended it with Bundra-Bland’s liner at Brown at third.
The win improved the Sox to 15-2 on the season. They’re set to host Cabot on Tuesday, July 3, before heading to Columbia, Tenn., on July 6, for a tournament that annual draws some of the top teams in the country.
BRYANT BLACK SOX SENIOR 17, HOT SPRINGS LAKESIDE RAMS AA 9
Rams ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi
Bradshaw, cf 4 2 1 1 Mayall, dh-1b 5 4 4 3
Walker, c 3 1 1 1 Brown, 3b 3 2 1 2
Parker, ss 4 0 1 0 Taylor, ss 5 3 3 2
Derozier, p-1b 3 1 3 1 Pickett, 1b-p 4 2 3 4
Garner, 2b-p 4 0 1 1 Pultro, rf 4 0 2 2
Hecke, lf 3 1 0 0 Hurt, 2b 5 0 0 0
Boudra-Bond, rf 2 2 0 0 Wilson, lf 3 1 2 0
Carter, 1b 1 1 0 0 Graddy, c 4 1 1 0
Ritter, 3b 1 1 1 0 Lessenberry, c 0 0 0 0
Street, 3b-2b 3 0 0 0 Daniel, cf 4 4 4 1
Nelson, p 0 0 0 0
Motto, p 0 0 0 0
Schalchlin, p 0 0 0 0
Totals 28 9 8 4 Totals 37 17 20 14
Lakeside 200 043 0 — 9
BRYANT 245 015 x — 17
E—Taylor, Parker, Hecke, Walker 2, Garner, Graddy 2. DP—Lakeside 1, Bryant 1. LOB—Lakeside 4, Bryant 7. 2B—Brown, Mayall, Derozier, Taylor. HR—Pickett. SB—Mayall 2. SF—Brown.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Derozier (L) 5 12 5 14 4 0
Garner 1 5 5 6 0 1
Nelson 3 2 0 2 0 2
Motto (W) 1.1 4 4 2 1 1
Schalchlin 1.1 3 2 2 1 2
Pickett (S) 1.1 0 0 1 0 1
HBP—Derozier (by Nelson), Boudra-Bland (by Motto), Boudra-Bland, Walker (by Schalchlin). WP—Derozier 3, Schalchlin 2, Garner. PB—Walker, Graddy.
Bryant 17, Lakeside 9