Sixteen runs on sixteen hits produces victory for Junior Sox
EDITOR’S NOTE: In this time of COVID-19, with no sports action, BryantDaily.com will be posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By Rob Patrick
Nine of the 10 players that got into Friday’s Junior American Legion game for the Bryant Black Sox got hits.
The other one got hit — twice.
The Sox outlasted Little Rock Continental Express, 16-8, for their fourth win in a row and 10th in the last 11 games going into their final two playing dates of the regular season.Now 11-2-1, the Sox host Lakeside on Monday, June 28. A Junior doubleheader against Sheridan at Bryant High School Field has been added on Tuesday, June 29. The team then opens District Tournament play on Monday, July 5, at Sheridan.[more]
“The one concern we have about District is that we only have 12 players eligible for Juniors,” mentioned Sox coach Wayne Taylor. “And three of those will be at the Xtra Innings (junior all-star games) July 5-6 so the first two days of District, we’re going to be very short-handed. We’ll have to overcome that.
Friday’s win was the second in a row in which the Sox scored in double figures. (Wednesday, they beat Little Rock Blue, 13-0). Those games came on the heels of an eight-run fifth-inning rally that lifted them to a win over Sheridan on Tuesday.
“The last two games, we’ve just stressed, ‘Be aggressive,’” related Taylor. “’Don’t look for the perfect pitch. If it’s in the zone, if it’s hittable, jump on it.’ Whether that’s the difference or not, I don’t know. It’s something we’ve stressed and they’re squaring a lot of balls up well.”
Of the 16 hits on Friday, seven were for extra bases including a game-ending two-run triple by Blake Davidson. Caleb Milam led the Sox with three hits. Evan Jobe, Ozzie Hurt, Jordan Taylor, Quinton Motto and Tyler Brown had two each.
Josh Pultro was the lone Sox batter that didn’t get a clean hit but he didn’t get to see many pitches. In the first and the fourth inning he was hit by the first pitch he saw. And he wound up scoring the last of the team’s six runs in the opening frame.
On the mound, Brown faced the minimum through 3 1/3 innings, giving up just one hit which was erased by a Sox doubleplay. With his team up 8-0 in the top of the fourth, Brown ran into some control problems. He hit a batter and walked two before surrendering a two-run single.
Taylor relieved in the fifth and finished the game out.
Continental, in fact, kept the pressure on by scoring three in the fifth and three more in the sixth but the Sox kept trumping the Express to eventual get the run-rule win.
Ben Gipson’s single started Friday’s game but Brown got Jace Alexander to hit a grounder to Hurt at second and he started a doubleplay. It was the first of six consecutive batters that grounded out against the right-hander.
Bryant got going in the bottom of the inning after Jobe was robbed of an extra-base hit on a nice play in deep left by Bo Turney. But Hurt and Taylor followed with singles and Landon Pickett walked to load the bases for Milam who hit a long fly to the left-field corner and Turney couldn’t haul in. Hurt scored on the play. Motto, who had two hits in each of the Sox’ previous two games, cracked a single to left that chased home two more, making it 3-0.
Pultro was hit to fill the bags again for Brown, who singled in Milam. An out later, Jobe laced one into left for a two-run double to cap the uprising.
In the second, Taylor and Pickett belted back-to-back doubles to make it 7-0 then Milam singled in Pickett before Thomas Fiedorek, the Continental starter, seemed to find his stuff. Though Motto hit a shot to right, it was caught and he got out of the inning with no further damage.
In the third, Corb Knell relieved and surrendered a double to Matt Neal but nothing else.
Continental got on the board in the fourth when Alexander was hit by a pitch, Josh Alberius and Jacob Green each walked and, with two down, Fiedorek hit an 0-2 pitch to center for a two-run single. Knell followed with a foul pop that Neal, the Bryant catcher, ranged all the way to the inside end of the Express dugout to grab on the run to end the inning.
Back-to-back two-out doubles by Milam and Motto got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning but, in the fifth, Brown surrendered consecutive singles to Hayes Riser, Turney, Mark Calloway and Alexander, cutting the Bryant lead to 9-4. Taylor relieved and Brown made a nice play at short to retire Alberius as Calloway scored. Pickett followed with a nice short-hop back-handed pickup at third for the second out before Logan Hayes bounced out to Hurt at second to end the inning with Alexander still at third.
Bryant’s three-run answer started with a one-out single by Jobe, who stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. An out later, Taylor and Pickett drew walks to load the bases and Davidson, in for Milam, drew a free pass to force in a run. Motto followed with a sharp grounder that was misplayed allowing Taylor and Pickett to score.
Trailing 12-5, Continental went back to work on offense in the sixth. Fiedorek beat out an infield hit then Knell reached on an error. Riser and Turney singled to get the first run home, then Knell scored when Calloway bounced into a doubleplay. Riser came home on a passed ball before Taylor fanned Alexander to end the inning.
The lead whittled to 12-8, the Sox responded with a four-run outburst that ended the game. Brown opened with a single and Neal sacrificed him to second. Jobe drew a walk and, with the runners going, Hurt laced a single to right, driving in Brown. Jobe alertly raced home when, with Taylor at the plate, the catcher’s throw to the mound got past Riser, the third Express hurler.
Taylor eventually walked before, with two down, Davidson smacked a liner into the right-field corner for a game-ending two-run triple.
BRYANT BLACK SOX 16, LITTLE ROCK CONTINENTAL EXPRESS 8
Junior American Legion
Continental Express ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi
Gipson, rf 2 0 1 0 Jobe, cf 4 2 2 2
Calloway, rf 2 1 1 1 Hurt, 2b 5 2 2 1
Alexander, 3b 3 1 1 1 Taylor, ss-p 3 4 2 0
Alberius, ss 2 1 0 1 Pickett, 3b 3 3 1 1
Green, c 2 0 0 0 Milam, rf 3 2 3 2
Hayes, cf 3 0 0 0 Davidson, rf 1 0 1 3
Fiedorek, p-1b 3 1 2 2 Motto, 1b 4 1 2 3
Knell, 1b-p 3 1 0 0 Pultro, lf 2 1 0 0
Cohen, 2b 0 0 0 0 Brown, p-ss 4 1 2 1
Riser, 2b-p 3 2 2 0 Neal, c 3 0 1 0
Turney, lf 3 1 2 1
Osborne, lf 0 0 0 0
Totals 26 8 8 6 Totals 32 16 16 13
Little Rock 000 233 — 8
BRYANT 620 134 — 16
Two out when game-ending run scored.
E—Alberius, Pickett. DP—Bryant 2. LOB—Continental Express 3, Bryant 8. 2B—Jobe, Taylor, Pickett, Milam, Motto, Neal. 3B—Davidson. SB—Alexander. S—Neal.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Fiedorek (L) 2 8 8 9 1 1
Knell 3 4 2 4 3 1
Riser 0.2 4 4 3 2 0
Brown (W) 3 5 5 6 2 0
Taylor (S) 3 3 1 3 0 1
Balk—Fiedorek. HBP—Alexander (by Brown), Pultro (by Fiedorek), Pultro (by Knell). WP—Fiedorek, Knell. PB—Neal.