PEARCY — Though figuratively speaking, the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team may feel like they’re snake-bitten lately, it was not a great sign that the snake actually showed up Tuesday night.[more]
Fortunately, no one was literally bitten when an actual king snake crawled into right field while the Lake Hamilton Wolves squad was on defense. It was a little more excitement than right fielder Tanner Neighbors had planned for, but a teammate came to his aid, grabbed the snake and threw him out of play.
Nevertheless, Bryant right fielder Brady Butler made sure to check out the area thoroughly during warm-ups in the bottom of the inning.
No doubt, the proverbial snake in the Bryant bat rack will be cast out at some point this season but, on Tuesday, it continued its invasion.
The Sox had runners on base in five of the seven innings but only managed to push one run home and, behind a two-run homer by Cody Jackson in the first inning, Lake Hamilton held on for a 3-1 win.
Bryant has scored just five runs in its last five games resulting in a 1-4 record during that stretch. Fortunately all those games have been outside their league but that was set to change tonight when they play Zone 4 rival Little Rock Continental Express.
Of course, when a team’s struggled to score, every other little miscue seems to be magnified and Tuesday was no different.
In the top of the first, the Sox had threatened with Chris Joiner and Hunter Mayall cracking singles to put runners at first and second with one out to no avail. Chris Walker, the Lake Hamilton starter, worked out of the jam.
In the bottom of the inning, Jacob Szmuc singled off Bryant starter Landon Pickett. Will Harris reached on an error then a passed ball put runners at second and third. Szmuc was then thrown out trying to score before Jackson ripped his two-run homer.
After the Sox went down in order in the top of the second, Kyle Green singled to lead off for the Wolves. He stole second and drew a wild throw, allowing him to take third. He scored on a base hit by Boo Kersay. Though Kersay also swiped second and advanced on an error, Pickett retired the next three batters to get out of the inning with the score 3-0.
And he settled in after that, allowing just one more hit — a one-out single in the third by Harris — retiring 14 of the last 16 he faced with one of those that reached getting thrown out trying to steal.
Jackson relieved for the Wolves in the third and surrendered a one-out walk to Chris Joiner. With two down, Mayall came through with a single then Jordan Taylor came through in the clutch with an RBI single that sent Mayall to third but, unfortunately, the Sox were unable to keep the uprising alive as Jackson fanned Pickett to escape.
After that, Jackson allowed a two-out single to Dylan Cross in the fourth. In the fifth, Joiner singled with one away then Caleb Garrett slapped a single to right. Joiner, however, was thrown out by Neighbors when he tried to get to third on the hit. Garrett took second on the play then reached third on a wild pitch but was stranded when Mayall skied to center.
Jackson worked a 1-2-3 sixth and pitched around a two-out single to Joiner in the seventh to close out the win and continue the Bryant frustrations.