Senior Sox claim second title in as many weeks behind Sears

GREENLAND — In the championship of the Big Fire Hawg World Series, Blaine Sears fired a two-hit shutout, walking two and fanning five over seven innings as the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team captured their second showcase championship in as many weekends with a 4-0 win over Veteran Bat Company of Oklahoma at Greenland High School on Sunday.

The Sox, now 27-8 this season, scored all four runs in the bottom of the second.

Sears retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced. The only baserunner was a lead-off walk in the second. Veteran Bat’s first hit was a double with one out in the top of the fourth. Sears left him stranded as he induced a flyball to Lawson Speer in center and a grounder to Cade Parker at third to end the inning.

VBC’s best chance to score was in the top of the fifth when a lead-off single and a hit batsman had two aboard with no one out. A grounder to Noah Davis at short resulted in a force at third. Sears then struck out a batter and got the third out on a pop to Davis.

That started a stretch in which Sears and the defense behind him retired nine of the last 10 batters. The only baserunner came on a one-out walk in the top of the sixth.

For the Sox, Logan White worked a walk to open the second. With one out, he stole second then moved to third on Parker’s grounder to the right side. Sears then helped his own cause with an RBI double to left.

A wild pitch allowed Sears to take third and Drew Hatman came on as a courtesy runner. Ryan Riggs drew a walk the so did Davis, loading the bases for Conner Martin. He walked as well, forcing in the second run. Colby Morrow was struck by a 1-0 pitch, and it was 3-0.

After a pitching change, Speer yanked a single through the hole on the left side on the infield to drive in the fourth tally.

The Sox had put two aboard in the first when Davis singled, and Martin walked. In the third, Sears singled with two down and Riggs was hit by a pitch. Both times, the runners were stranded.

Sears’ third hit, a double, started the bottom of the sixth but the next three batters were retired.

VBC went quietly in the seventh on a fly to White in right, a grounder to Parker at third and a strikeout.

Bryant is tentatively scheduled to play again on Tuesday, July 13, in a doubleheader at Cabot.

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