By Rob Patrick
Tre Davis pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings of relief and the Sport Shop Black Sox snapped a 2-2 tie with a four-run fifth inning to forge a 6-2 win over the Little Rock Post 1 Blues Junior team at Bryant High School Field Thursday night.
Hunter Oglesby and Dakota Besancon each contributed the big run-scoring hits in the fifth as the red-hot Sport Shop team claimed its eighth straight win and 11th in the last 12 games going into the regular-season finale at Hot Springs Lakeside on Monday night.
The Zone 4 Junior District Tournament begins in Sheridan on July 6.
Oglesby started on the mound for the Sox and worked into the fourth. All of Little Rock’s runs scored in the third when, pitching in 106-degree heat, the right-hander started to struggle with his control. He had retired the first two in the inning with ease but, after a bloop single by his counterpart Lance Nolen, he walked four in a row, three of them on 3-2 counts. Nolen and Daniel Massirer wound up scoring but when Oglesby setting in and struck out Alex Stilwell on three pitches, the bases were left stranded.
That actually tied the game. Bryant had pushed a pair of runs across in the second. Jimbo Seale singled and, after a pair of wild pitches, wound up at third. Weston Jones drew a walk then Justin Emmerling launched a drive over the center fielder’s head. He appeared to have a two-run triple but it turned out to be a two-run single. The Blues appealed at second and the umpire ruled that Emmerling had missed the bag so he was called out.
But the Sox had the lead for the time being.
Oglesby had given up three straight hits in the first but second baseman Drew Tipton fielded a ball up the middle, stepped on second and threw to first for an inning-ending doubleplay. In the second, Oglesby issued a walk to Hayden Mills who stole second. Brandon Randall made a bid for a base hit but Tipton climbed the proverbial ladder and, at the top of his leap, plucked it out of the air for the first out.
J.D. Hill followed with a grounder to third. Besancon caught Mills breaking toward third and ran him down for a tagout when he tried to get back to second. Stilwell kept the inning going with a single. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third but Oglesby fanned Larry Johnson to keep the game scoreless at the time.
The game went to the fourth tied 2-2. In the top of the inning, Oglesby retired the first two, making a nice play himself on a bunt by Johnson. But a four-pitch walk to Jonathan Carruth brought Sport Shop manager Tyler Pickett to the mound for the pitching change. Davis came in got Nolen to fly to center where Oglesby had moved.
In the bottom of the fourth, Besancon singled and Seale walked to start the inning but Nolen worked out of the jam despite a double steal by Besancon and pinch-runner C.J. Phillips. The Little Rock starter hadn’t recorded a strikeout to that point but he got two of them to help escape the threat.
Davis issued walks to Massirer and Mills to start the fifth. They moved to second and third when Randall grounded out. Hill then hit a tapper that Davis fielded. He threw Randall out at first where Justin Emmerling took the throw and, realizing Mills had wandered too far off of second, relayed to Tipton for an unconventional doubleplay to end the inning.
Bryant’s game-breaking fifth began with a solid single to left by Dalton Holt. With Holt on the move, Tipton hit a grounder to third. In his haste, Carruth booted the ball and the Sox had runners at first and second. Blake Patterson drew a walk to load the bases for Oglesby who dumped an RBI single in shallow right-center to snap the tie. Besancon followed with a base hit to right that drove in two while sending Oglesby to third. Phillips capped off the inning with a sacrifice fly.
Davis had found his groove on the mound and he finished the game off with a flurry, striking out the side in the top of the sixth.
Besancon had two hits for the Sox. Nolen led the Blues with two. For Bryant, Tipton went hitless, snapping a 12-game hitting streak.
BRYANT SPORT SHOP BLACK SOX 6, LITTLE ROCK POST 1 BLUES 2
Junior American Legion
Blues ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi
Johnson, 2b 4 0 0 0 Tipton, 2b 3 1 0 0
Weber, cf 4 0 1 0 Patterson, ss 2 1 1 0
Carruth, 3b 2 0 1 0 Oglesby, p-cf 3 1 1 1
Nolen, p 3 1 2 0 Besancon, 3b 3 0 2 2
Massirer, rf 1 1 0 0 Seale, c 1 1 1 0
Mills, lf 0 0 0 0 Phillips, pr-c 0 0 0 1
Randall, ss 2 0 0 0 Jones, lf-rf 2 1 0 0
Hill, c 2 0 0 0 Emmerling, 1b 3 0 1 2
Stilwell, 1b 3 0 1 0 Mays, rf 0 0 0 0
Davis, p 1 0 0 0
Holt, cf-lf 2 1 1 0
Totals 21 2 5 0 Totals 20 6 7 6
Little Rock 002 000 — 2
BRYANT 020 04x — 6
E—Carruth. DP—Bryant 2. LOB—Little Rock 9, Bryant 4. SB—Besancon, Phillips, Mills. SF—Phillips.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Nolen (L) 5 6 5 7 4 3
Oglesby 3.2 2 2 5 5 3
Davis (W) 2.1 0 0 0 2 3
WP—Nolen 3, Oglesby 2. PB—Seale.
Sport Shop Sox 6, Little Rock Blue 2