MEMPHIS — Trailing 4-3 to the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team going into the final inning, the East Coach Select showcase team rallied for three runs then held off a rally in the bottom of the seventh for a 6-5 win in pool play on Sunday at the annual Keith Hagan Memorial All-American Classic.
The game ended after Bryant had scored a run in the bottom of the seventh. The Sox had the tying run at third only to have a strikeout end the contest.
It was the first loss of the event, and just the fifth this season in 27 games for the Black Sox, who were set to wrap up pool play on Sunday evening against Houston High School of Memphis.
The Sox were held to just five hits in the game and three of those were by Logan Chambers, including a pair of doubles.
They grabbed the lead early, scoring a run in the first after starter Konner Clontz had set down Select in order in the top half, striking out two. Chambers singled to center and stole second. With one out, Cade Drennan’s groundout got him to third. He scored from there on a wild pitch as Brandon Hoover drew a walk.
Select took the lead with two in the top of the second. A walk, a wild pitch and a single got the first run in. A wild pitch on a third strike allowed the second run to score.
But the Sox regained the upper hand in the bottom of the second. With one out, Matthew Sandidge reached on an error and, with two down, Coby Greiner drew a walk to set the stage for Chambers’ two-run double.
Though Chambers advanced to third on the late throw to the plate, the Sox weren’t able to get him in.
Clontz pitched around a two-out single in the top of the third but, in the fourth, a lead-off homer to left tied the game. He came back to strike out two to work around a two-out single, keeping it deadlocked.
Select pitching set down eight Black Sox in a row before Chambers doubled with one down in the bottom of the fifth. Drennan singled him in with two away and Bryant had a 4-3 edge that held until the top of the seventh.
A walk and a hit batsman set the stage for East Coast’s rally after Greiner, the third Sox pitcher, had worked a scoreless sixth and retired the first batter in the seventh. A bloop single to right sent a runner in from second only to have Myers Buck throw a dart to catcher Ryan Lessenberry to nail the runner for the second out of the inning.
On a 1-1 count to the next batter, however, a triple brought in the tying and go-ahead runs. A two-out, two-strike single made it 6-4.
Greiner and Chambers each walked to open the bottom of the seventh. Jake Wright beat out an infield hit to load the bases with no one out. Greiner scored when Drennan grounded into a doubleplay. Chambers was stranded at third.