Sox open Mid America Classic with two wins

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Aaron Orender and Jake East combined on a no-hitter as the Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion team edged the SLC Monarchs of Kansas City 1-0 as pool play in the Mid America Classic began on Thursday.

The Sox also handed the Sedalia, Mo. Bombers, a 3-1 loss.

They’ll finish up pool play on Friday morning at 9 against the Nixa, Mo. 17 team.

In the gem against the Monarchs, Orender and East combined to strike out 10 and walk just one. Orender threw the first three innings and East worked the final four frames. East retired all 12 batters he faced. The lone base-runner came on a walk with one out in the second inning.

The Sox didn’t fare much better against the Monarchs’ pitcher. They had four hits, two of which were cracked by Seth Tucker.

The lone run of the game scored in the fourth. Tucker got the inning started with a single to right. He stole second as Dylan Hurt was waiting out a walk.

Alex Shurtleff followed with a bunt that wound up turning into a single instead of a sacrifice, loading the bases. Orender grounded to third with the infield in and the Monarchs got a force at the plate.

Moments later, however, Brandon Hoover lofted a sacrifice fly to right to get Jeffrey Hastings, in as a courtesy runner for Hurt, the Bryant catcher, home.

East had a two-out hit in the bottom of the fifth and Hurt received another walk to open the sixth.

In the second win, the Bombers managed a first-inning run but that was it for the day.. Hurt, pitching for the first time this season, allowed the one run on three hits in the first but he struck out two.  Shurtleff worked two shutout innings then Boston Heil took over and finished with four frames of whitewashing the Bombers.

Offensively, Logan Allen had three hits and Orender had two, knocking in one of the three runs.

The Sox tied it at 1 in the bottom of the first. Allen drilled a double to left, took third on East’s groundout. With two out, Hurt walked then the duo worked a double steal for the run. Hurt stayed in a hot box long enough for Allen to get home.

Shurtleff worked around a hit batsman in the second and a one-out single in the third.

Grayson Prince and Allen started the Bryant third with singles, and with one out, Tucker walked. But Hurt tapped into a force at the plate then a strikeout ended the threat.

Heil gave up a single to start the top of the fourth. The runner stole second but, with two down, Heil picked him off to end the inning.

Scott Schmidt singled with two down in the fourth to no avail then Heil worked around a lead-off walk in the top of the fifth.

The Sox snapped the tie in the bottom of the inning. With one out, East walked and scored on Tucker’s double to center. Hurt followed with a two-bagger, trading places with Tucker to make it 3-1.

Though he hit three batters along the way, Heil wound up with five strikeouts. The game ended with Hurt, the Bryant catcher, picking off a runner at second.

 

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