Two more wins compete unbeaten run in pool play for Junior Sox

OMAHA, Neb. — The Bryant Everett Black Sox completed a 4-0 sweep through pool play with[more] a pair of wins on Friday and the Battle of Omaha 17U tournament. The Sox, who improved to 11-0 overall this season, earn a spot in the championship bracket on Sunday after playing an showcase game against Clearwater, Neb., today.

Lefty Evan Lee fired a five-hit shutout as the Sox defeated Fossil Ridge of Fort Collins, Colo., in the first game on Friday, 7-0. In the second game, they out-lasted the St. Louis Redbirds Junior Legion team, 12-7 behind solid relief pitching from Trey Breeding and Bailey Bowers.

Bryant 7, Fossil Ridge 0

The Colorado team had runners aboard in every inning including singles in the first, second, fifth and sixth but the Sox turned three doubleplays and Lee picked off a pair along the way.

The Sox got all the runs they’d need with a five-run second. Connor Tatum, Dalton Holt and Blake Patterson had RBI hits in the inning. Holt and Patterson ended up with two hits each to pace the eight-hit attack.

Lee was greeted by a pair of singles in the first but the lead runner was forced at third then Lee fielded a comebacker and threw to first for an out. When the second runner tried to sneak home on thep lay, Patterson fired the Breeding in time for an inning-ending doubleplay.

In the second, the Bryant lefty surrendered a two-out single and a walk but got a strikeout to keep it scoreless.

A walk to Breeding started Bryant’s breakout second. He stole second but was still there with two down. But Brandan Warner came through with a RBI single and Jordan Gentry walked. Tatum singled in the first run then Holt’s base hit made it 3-0. Lee drew a walk to set the table for Patterson’s two-run single.

Lee worked around a walk in the third, a walk and a third-strike wild pitch that allowed a batter to reach in the fourth. His first pickoff on the runner at first ended the threat.

In the fourth, an error and a single produced another Fossil Ridge opportunity but Lee induced a pop up and a doubleplay ball to Tatum at short.

The sixth opened with a single for Fossil Ridge but, again, Lee picked the runner off and retired the next two to keep it 5-0.

The Sox tacked on a pair of insurance tallied in the bottom of the inning. Lee walked, stole second and third and scored on Patterson’s second RBI hit. Patterson took second on the throw, tagged and went to third on a fly to center by Breeding and scored on Harrison Dale’s groundout.

An error gave Fossil Ridge some home to open the top of the seventh but the Sox turned the third doubleplay as Lee induced another comebacker. A walk followed but then came another tap back to the mound for the final out.

Bryant 12, St. Louis 7

In the second game, the Sox jumped to a 6-0 lead as starter Devin Dupree retired six of the first seven Redbird hitters.

St. Louis took advantage of a pair of Bryant errors with four hits to close the gap to 6-5 in the third but the Sox countered with four in the bottom of the inning. St. Louis rallied for two in the top of the fourth before Breeding worked out of the inning. He would pitch a scoreless fifth then Bowers blanked the Redbirds on one hit over the last two stanzas.

Meanwhile, the Sox added a run in the fourth and another in the fifth to extend the margin.

Hunter Oglesby had two of Bryant’s 10 hits. He and Lee and Andrew Kincaid each drove in two runs.

Bryant’s five-run first was ignited by an error that allowed Gentry to reach base. He stole second and took third on a passed ball. Oglesby walked with one out then Weston Jones ripped an RBI double. Bowers singled in Oglesby and, after Tre Davis walked, Nick Kehrees picked up an RBI with a groundout to short. That set the table for Kincaid’s two-run single to cap the uprising.

In the second, Gentry and Dakota Besancon singled. After a pitching change, a wild pitch moved runners to second and third with Oglesby at the plate. He got a bunt down and not only brought the run in but got a hit out of it as well.

After the Redbirds’ five-run third, the Sox’ answer was sparked by Warner’s one-out single to right. Tatum reached on an error that allowed Warner to take third and, after a stolen base, Gentry walked to load the bags for Holt who bounced to short. Tatum was forced at second but Holt beat the relay to first, avoiding an inning-ending doubleplay and allowing Warner to score.

Oglesby doubled in Gentry then Lee hit a drive to right for a two-run triple to make it 10-5.

A double and single started the fourth for St. Louis so manager Tyler Brown brought in Breeding for his first work on the mound this season. A bunt single produced a run and, after a walk and a strikeout, an error allowed the second tally. But the next batter popped to Tatum at short who doubled off the runner at second to bring the inning to an abrupt end.

Bryant’s run in the fourth was scored by Warner, who drew a two-out walk, stole second and third, then scored when Tatum reached on an error.

Breeding issued a walk then an error was committed but the right-hander retired the next three, finishing with a strikeout of the St. Louis lead-off man.

In the home fifth, Breeding reached on a one-out error. Though he was forced at second on a grounder by Lee, a stolen base, an errant throw and an RBI single by Patterson made it 12-7.

Bowers pitched around a two-out single in the sixth then walked the lead-off man in the seventh but his teammates turned a 5-4-3 doubleplay before he ended it by inducing a pop to Warner at third.

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