Senior Sox finish pool play unbeaten after walk-off HBP

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Jake Wright took a shutout into the seventh inning for the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team on Friday but the Midwest Nationals 18U team rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game.

But the Sox walked it off when Logan Catton opened the inning with a triple, intentional walks were issued to Cade Drennan and Jake Wright to set up a force at every base and Gage Stark was hit by a pitch to force in the game-winner as Bryant finished pool play at the MidAmerica Premier Showcase with a 4-3 win.

The triple was Catton’s third hit of the game as the Black Sox accumulated seven to take advantage of five walks, two hit batsmen and an error.

Wright had the Nationals blanked on two hits going into the seventh. He fanned seven without a walk. He surrendered a third hit, a single by Trey Rassenfoss with one out in the seventh and Coby Greiner came on in relief. Another single, a walk and an RBI knock by Brandon Teter got Midwest on the board. Two runs scored when Thomas Emrich’s grounder was misplayed.

With the potential to-ahead run at second, Greiner got Bryson Matthews to bounce into a force at second then Dylan Thompson to do the same.

The Sox took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. With two out, Greiner was struck by a 1-1 delivery. Brayden Lester drew a walk and, after Greiner stole third, he stole home on a late pickoff throw to first.

Wright had set down Midwest in order in the first then worked around a single by Hunter Crabtree and a hit batsman in the second. After the Sox took the lead, the Nationals were retired in order in the third.

They threatened again in the fourth when Thompson singled and, with two out, Rassenfoss reached on an error but Wright got the final out on a fly to Grant in right.

It stayed 1-0 until the bottom of the sixth. With Bryant Avery on in relief for Midwest, Stark walked, and Grant singled. Greiner got a bunt down, but Grant was forced at second. But with Stark at third, Lester bounced out for an RBI. Renfrow singled in Greiner to make it 3-0.

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