Sox, Hogs slug their way to 9-9 tie after pitchers’ duel in Bryant’s win in opener
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
When the Bryant Black Sox Junior American Legion team found themselves trailing the Texarkana Junior Razorbacks 7-1 after[more] two innings in the second game of their doubleheader on Saturday, it was a bit of a shock.
In posting a 10-1 record to that point in the season, they’d hardly trailed at all much less by six runs.
And you could see their frustration. Of course, the players on this Sox team are all used to playing do-or-die baseball about this time of the season. As 14 and 15 year old all-stars in years past, this is about the time of the year for District, State and Regional tournaments.
Now regular-season games like Saturday’s are, essentially, tune-ups for the Legion District and State tourneys. Naturally, you want to win every time out but it’s not win or go home.
So, their frustration was showing in a number of different ways. Manager Jimmy Parker had a couple of meetings between innings.
And his team responded by rallying from what turned into an 8-1 deficit to take a 9-8 lead in the top of the fifth, a rally capped off by Marcus Wilson’s three-run inside-the-park home run. Texarkana, however, managed to tie the game in the bottom of the inning as time expired resulting in the tie.
Parker didn’t want to reveal too much about it all afterwards except to say, “I was proud of the way we came back after we got over feeling sorry for ourselves.”
The wild nightcap was in stark contrast to a corker of a pitcher’s duel between Bryant’s Tryce Schalchlin and Texarkana’s Nathan Stubber in the opener. Schalchlin and the Sox prevailed, 2-1.
Schalchlin scattered five hits, walked just one and fanned five in the opener. Texarkana’s lone run was unearned.
The right-hander was backed by some stellar defense too, particularly a genuine, jaw-dropping Baseball Tonight Web-Gem doubleplay in the sixth turned by the team’s 15-year-old keystone combo, shortstop Trevor Ezell and second baseman Korey Thompson. With the Sox clinging to a 2-1 lead and Texarkana’s Colton Redfearn on first after a lead-off single, Jackson Murphy cracked a sharp grounder up the middle. Ezell ranged to his left and made a diving stop. From his stomach, he flipped the ball from his glove to Thompson, covering the bag. Thompson bare-handed the throw and quickly whipped a perfect relay to Daniel Richards at first to complete the play.
The Black Sox, meanwhile, came up with nine hits, but Stubber was tough with runners on base.
The Razorbacks’ lone run came in the second when Murphy reached on an errant throw by Ezell who made a sparkling back-handed play to his right but air-mailed the throw to first. Schalchlin struck out Kyle Duncan but Jonathan Boucher plugged the gap in left-center for an RBI double.
Schalchlin retired the next two to keep it 1-0. He then worked around a lead-off singles in both the third and fourth innings.
The Sox had gotten off to rugged start on offense. In the first Tyler Green beat out an infield hit but was thrown out trying to steal second. With two down, Wilson walked and got picked off first and run down to end the inning.
Cody Gogus doubled to lead off the second but was stranded. In the third, Thompson singled with one down, taking second when the ball was misplayed in the outfield then third on a long fly to center by Green. But he too was left on.
Finally, in the fourth, the Sox broke through. With one out, Gogus shot a single up the middle and, with two out, Schalchlin did the same. Zach Graddy followed by pulling a single to left. As Gogus rolled around third, Texarkana left fielder Austin Edwards the the ball get by him. So, not only did Gogus score to tie it but Schalchlin followed, providing the 2-1 lead that would hold up for the final.
It was the only time in the game either team put back-to-back hits together.
The Sox threatened in the fifth when Green singled was forced at second on a grounder by Ezell but Wilson looped a single to right that sent Ezell to third. But Stubber fanned Gogus to end the inning.
In the sixth, the Texarkana hurler issued a two-out walk to Graddy then Chase Tucker ripped a double into the left-field corner but, again, he got off the hook, this time on Thompson’s pop to short.
Schalchlin worked around a one-out single by Stubber in the fifth then got the eye-popping doubleplay behind him in the sixth. In the seventh, a two-out error gave Texarkana hope but Schalchlin put those hopes to bed by striking out Zane Howard.
Since the doubleheader was taking the place of a home-and-home exchange, Texarkana was the home team in the second contest.
The Sox took the lead initially but didn’t get as much out of the inning as they might’ve, igniting the early frustration. Green reached on an error then Ezell walked. The duo worked a double steal and, when the pitch got past the Texarkana catcher, Green sprinted on home. With Ezell at third, Wilson drew a walk. With Gogus up, Wilson started to steal second but got trapped in a rundown. When Texarkana appeared to be committed to getting Wilson, Ezell took off for the plate. The Razorbacks broke off the effort to retire Wilson and a throw home by Murphy retired Ezell on a bang-bang play as Redfearn blocked the plate. The Bryant coaches protested, contending that Ezell’s foot had reached the plate between Redfearn’s shinguards before the tag. But it was to no avail and the Sox held just a 1-0 lead.
Texarkana countered with three runs. Stubber beat out an infield hit then scored on a triple to right-center by Trey Jeans. And when the relay to third was wild, Jeans scored as well.
With one out, Murphy walked, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Duncan to make it 3-1.
Green, the Bryant starter, fanned Jacob Alexander and got Cole Harris to bounce to third to keep it at that.
After the Sox were retired by Alexander, the Texarkana starter, in the second despite a one-out walk to Tucker, the Hogs added to the advantage. Andrew Jester walked to start the inning and Green picked him off first only to have a balk called. Jester was awarded second then Howard beat out a bunt hit.
Green came back to strike out Stubber but then Jester and Howard worked a double steal to make it 4-1. Jeans walked then a bloop single by Redfearn loaded the bag for Murphy who singled to left. Duncan’s second double of the game knocked in two more, making it 7-1.
Howard tripled to start the third and scored on an errant pickoff throw by Bryant reliever Austin Caldwell. With one out Jeans walked and Redfearn singled but Caldwell picked off Jeans then struck out Murphy to excape further damage.
The Black Sox got back into the game in the fourth. Schalchlin drilled a single to center then Tucker blasted a drive over Jeans’ head in center for an RBI triple. Caldwell’s sacrifice fly made it 8-3.
Thompson got the carousel spinning again with a shot off Alexander for a hit. Gamely, the Texarkana pitcher continued but Green found the gap in right-center for a double and, after Ezell walked to load the bases, Gogus drew a pass to force in a run.
The inning appeared to be over when, with two down, Richards swung and missed an 0-2 delivery but the ball got past catcher Cory Still allowing Richards to reach and Green to score. Schalchlin was hit by a pitch to force in yet another run and suddenly it was 8-6.
Texarkana made a bid to get those runs back in the bottom of the inning when, with one out, Alexander, Edwards and Jester singled to load the bases. But Caldwell fanned Howard and got Stubber to fly to Green in center to keep it a two-run game.
Alexander set down the first two Sox in the top of the fifth but then Green bounced a single up the middle and Ezell walked. Wilson worked the count to 3-1 then mashed a fastball over Jeans’ head in center. And when Jeans slipped down at the fence going after the ball, Wilson circled the bases to give Bryant a 9-8 lead.
With time running out, Texarkana came to bat in the bottom of the fifth. Jeans started with a single but Caldwell struck out Still. Murphy chopped one to the left of second base that Ezell was prepared to field but the ball took a bad hop beyond his reach and into center. Green, however, charged in and came up throwing as Jeans headed for third. The throw was perfect to nail him. Murphy headed to second on the play and, after applying the tag on Jeans, Gogus tried to relay to get Murphy. But his throw was off line and Murphy was able to carry on to third. Three pitches later, Boucher doubled to left to bring Murphy home with the tying run.
With the winning run at second, however, Caldwell ended it by striking out Chase Norman. Bryant is scheduled to return to action on Monday at home against Sheridan.
BRYANT 2, TEXARKANA 1
Junior American Legion
Razorbacks ab r h bi Black Sox ab r h bi
Howard, ss 4 0 0 0 Green, cf 3 0 2 0
Jeans, cf 3 0 0 0 Ezell, ss 3 0 0 0
Redfearn, c 3 0 1 0 Wilson, lf 2 0 1 0
Alexander, cr 0 0 0 0 Gogus, 3b 3 1 2 0
Murphy, 1b 3 1 1 0 Richards, 1b 3 0 0 0
Duncan, 3b 2 0 0 0 Schalchlin, p 3 1 1 0
Boucher, rf 3 0 1 1 Graddy, c 2 0 1 1
Edwards, lf 3 0 0 0 Caldwell, cr 0 0 0 0
Norman, 2b 3 0 0 0 Tucker, rf 3 0 1 0
Stubber, p 3 0 2 0 Thompson, 2b 3 0 1 0
Totals 27 1 5 1 Totals 25 2 9 1
Texarkana 010 000 0 — 1
BRYANT 000 200 x — 2
E—Ezell 2, Boucher, Edwards, Gogus. DP—Bryant 1. LOB—Texarkana 6, Bryant 7. 2B—Boucher, Gogus, Tucker.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Stubber (L) 6 2 1 9 2 6
Schalchlin (W) 7 1 0 5 1 5
BRYANT 9, TEXARKANA 9
Black Sox ab r h bi Razorbacks ab r h bi
Green, p-cf 4 3 2 0 Stubber, 2b 4 1 1 0
Ezell, ss 1 2 0 0 Jeans, cf 2 2 2 1
Wilson, cf-lf 2 1 1 3 Redfearn, c 3 0 2 0
Gogus, 3b 3 0 1 1 Carroll, cr 0 1 0 0
Richards, c-1b 3 0 0 0 Still, c 1 0 0 0
Schalchlin, 1b 2 1 1 1 Murphy, 1b 3 2 2 1
Graddy, c 0 0 0 0 Duncan, 3b 3 0 2 3
Tucker, lf-rf 2 1 1 1 Boucher, rf 1 0 1 1
Caldwell, rf-p 2 0 0 1 Alexander, p 2 0 1 0
Thompson, 2b 3 1 1 0 Burney, cr 0 0 0 0
Totals 22 9 7 7 Totals 28 9 15 6
BRYANT 100 53 — 9
Texarkana 341 01 — 9
E—Ezell, Stubber, Richards, Alexander, Caldwell, Gogus. LOB—Bryant 7, Texarkana 10. 2B—Duncan 2, Green, Boucher. 3B—Jeans, Howard, Tucker. HR—Wilson. SB—Jester, Howard. SF—Caldwell.
Pitching ip r er h bb so
Green 1.1 7 7 7 3 2
Caldwell 3.2 2 1 8 1 6
Alexander 4.2 9 8 7 7 5
Norman 0.1 0 0 0 0 1
Balk—Green. HBP—Alexander (by Caldwell), Schalchlin (by Alexander). WP—Green, Alexander. PB—Redfearn, Still.