MOUNTAIN HOME — The Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team absorbed a 7-2 loss to Creve Couer, Mo., in the final game of pool play on Friday but was still able to advance to the eight-team championship round at the 24th Twin Lakes Classic. The Sox are scheduled to play Pontatoc, Miss., one of three teams that went unbeaten through pool play, today at 5 p.m.
Other unbeaten teams include the host Mountain Home Lockerroom team, which will play Benton McClendon's at 7:30 this evening, and Eureka, Mo., which beat Bryant 4-3 on the first day of the tournament. Eureka will play Batesville at noon. Creve Couer advances to play DeSoto, Mo., at 2:30 p.m. Bryant and Batesville both advanced despite 1-2 records in pool play by being the two 1-2 teams that had allowed the fewest runs.[more]
Creve Couer's Max Ockner limited the Sox to just six hits on Friday with Hunter Mayall collecting three of those for Bryant. Ockner fanned seven.
The Sox used four pitchers with starter Caleb Milam absorbing the loss.
Creve Coeur managed to score a run in the top of the first when Jake Holtzman walked, stole second and eventually scored on a groundout.
The Sox got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Chris Joiner cracked a single, advanced on a sacrifice by Caleb Garrett and scored on Mayall's first hit, a single.
Ockner and Milam kept it 1-1 until the fourth when Creve Couer used a walk, a stolen base and a double by Josh Joyce to snap the deadlock. With two down, Joyce scored on a single by Jake Standridge to make it 3-1.
Milam, still working his way back after injury, only allowed four hits in his four innings but he walked five. Landon Pickett took over in the fifth and surrendered three hits and two runs before inducing a double-play ball and getting a strikeout to get out of the inning.
Creve Couer added another run to make it 6-1 in the sixth as Matt Neal came on to relieve Pickett who hit the first batter of the inning.
In the seventh, Creve Couer loaded the bases and scored another run before Blake Davidson relieved for the Sox and ended the inning with a strikeout, keeping it 7-1.
As it turned out, that proved key to Bryant advancing, holding the team's runs allowed to 11.
The Sox tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh, Mayall whacked his third hit, a double, and scored on a single by Brady Butler before Ockner closed it out.