SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Once again, the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team snatched victory from the proverbial jaws of defeat on Friday morning at the Mid-American Premier Tournament, based in Springfield, Mo.
The Sox, taking on 417 Baseball of Willard, Mo., at New Covenant Academy in Springfield, trailed 4-1 through four innings but scored six runs over the last three frames including three in the top of the seventh to escape with a 7-5 win.
Boston Heil, in relief of Grayson Prince, pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh to nail down the victory after he’d put out a fire in the home sixth.
The Sox were set to continue pool play with a game against Nixa, Mo., on their home field on Friday afternoon. They’ll play the Midwest Nationals at Willard High School on Saturday morning to complete pool play.
The Sox took a 1-0 lead in the second. Myers Buck singled with one out then raced home on a double to left by Matthew Sandidge with two away.
Aided by a walk, a hit baseman and an error on a sacrifice bunt, 417 Baseball struck for four runs in the bottom of the second.
It stayed 4-1 until Bryant’s fifth. A walk to Coby Greiner started the uprising. Logan Chambers belted a triple to chase him home then scored himself on a sacrifice fly by Jake Wright.
Down by a run, the Sox got a two-out double by Brandon Hoover, but he was stranded when Scott Schmidt’s smash to right held up long enough to get caught.
Prince pitched around a pair of walks in the bottom of the fifth then the Sox tied it in the top of the sixth. Logan Grant beat out a bunt single with one down, stole second and scored when Greiner’s grounder to short was misplayed.
417 untied it in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out rally that involved a single, a hit batsman and, after Heil relieved, a base hit that drove in a run.
Heil struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Bryant regained the upper hand in the top of the seventh. Wright walked and Cade Drennan’s grounder to short was kicked. Hoover tied the game with a sacrifice fly then Schmidt stroked an RBI single to left to put the Sox ahead.
A base hit by Buck before Grant was struck by a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Schmidt scored on a sacrifice fly by Sandidge but Buck was thrown out trying to score on the play, leaving it 7-5.
Heil gave up a two-out single in the home seventh but the base-runner was thrown out trying to steal second by Wright, the Sox’ catcher.