SPRINGDALE — Matthew Sandidge went 3 for 3 with two runs batted in while right-hander Seth Tucker stymied the Oklahoma City Sandlot team on five hits and no earned runs over six innings as the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team earned a 9-2 win in the first game of pool play at the Perfect Timing Showcase Classic. The game was played at Shiloh Christian High School.
On Friday, the Sox will play at Arvest Park, home of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the AA Minor League team for the Kansas City Royals.
Tucker fanned eight and walked two, surrendering just the two unearned runs in the first inning. Boston Heil pitched a scoreless seventh to close out the win.
Along with Sandidge, the Bryant offense was spurred by Logan Allen and Myers Buck who each had two hits. Aaron Orender knocked in a pair.
The Sox committed four errors but only one of them really hurt. In the top of the first, Tucker struck out two of the first three Sandlot batters. The other was hit by a pitch. With two down, back-to-back singles loaded the bases. It appeared that Tucker and the Sox were out of the inning when he induced a groundball on the infield. But it was misplayed and two scored.
Bryant was unable to take advantage of a two-out error and a walk in the bottom of the first.
In the top of the second, Tucker struck out the side as he worked around a one-out single and a two-out error.
Orender walked to start the bottom of the second. Scott Schmidt sacrificed him to second then Sandidge pulled a single into right to drive him home. Buck singled him to third but when he tried to score on a safety squeeze, Tucker’s bunt was fielded and a throw came home in time to nab Sandidge.
Despite a single and walk in the top of the third, Sandlot could not add to its lead. In the fourth, a lead-off walk was erased by a doubleplay, started by Tucker and turned by Jake East at short. An error came to naught when Tucker ended the inning with a strikeout.
He would pitch out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth.
In turn, the Sox erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fifth to take control of the game. Buck lined a single to center to get the outburst started. With Coby Greiner in as a pinch-runner, a wild pitch got him to second then a passed ball allowed him to take third as Tucker drew a walk.
Another passed ball allowed Greiner to score and Tucker to take second. East then got a sacrifice bunt down. A wild throw to first allowed Tucker to score as East reached second. That gave Bryant a 3-2 lead.
The small ball was working so well that the Sox stayed with it. Allen beat out a bunt single then so did Dylan Hurt, who picked up an RBI as East scored. An error allowed Allen to reach third then Hurt stole second without a play. Brandon Hoover’s sacrifice fly made it 5-2. Hurt scored on Orender’s groundout to short.
With the bases clear and two out, Schmidt shot a single to center and, after a pitching change, Sandidge ripped a double that chased Schmidt home from first to make it 7-2.
Tucker hit another batter with one out in the top of the sixth. With two down a bloop single had two aboard but a roller to Hoover at first concluded the inning.
For good measure, the Sox tacked on two in the bottom of the sixth. East drew a one-out walk and scored on Allen’s double down the left-field line. A walk to Hurt set up Orender’s two-out RBI single to cap off the scoring.
Heil retired the side in order in the seventh, finishing with a strikeout.