White tosses two-hit shutout; Sox take advantage of gifts
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CONWAY — Gratuities are welcome and encouraged.
The Bryant Black Sox Junior American Legion team benefitted from 10 walks including consecutive passes to their first five batters in the bottom of the first and got two-hit shutout pitching from Logan White on the way to an 8-0 win over the Rawlings Arkansas Prospects on Friday evening.
It was the Sox’ second win of the day in pool play. They were set to wrap up pool play on Saturday at 11:15 at Hendrix College.
White struck out five and threw just 76 pitches in six innings. He surrendered a clean single to right by Keegan Woods of Pangburn in the second and an infield hit to Cole Keylon of Harrison to lead off the fifth.
“He looked great,” said Sox manager Ozzie Hurt. “Last week (at the Cabot tournament), he looked good against a good-hitting team.
“One thing we noticed last week was that every starter that we threw was tired at about 40, 50 pitches,” he related. “So, it was hard for us to win that tournament with the pitching. I mean, if you can’t go longer than 50 pitches, we’re in trouble.
“So, earlier (in a 5-4 win over the Northwest Arkansas Prospects), (Will) Hathcote threw over 60 and still looked good then Logan came out at 76 pitches and he was still strong,” Hurt mentioned. “He could’ve thrown the seventh. The longer that these guys go this summer — and they’re building. The more pitches they can throw in this type of tournament will help us.”
In the second, Woods stole second then went to third on a grounder to the right side by Matt Moore of Pottsville. He remained there as White fanned Connor White of North Little Rock to end the inning.
Keylon went to second on a tap to third off the bat of Woods. Cooper made a bid at an RBI hit but Bryant centerfielder Lawson Speer made a diving grab of his liner to left center to end the threat.
The Prospects had three other runners, but each was erased on the bases. Keylon walked with one out in the first. Hogan Ralston of Cabot then lined to Noah Davis at short and he was able to double off Keylon.
In the third, Connor Bice of Heber Springs drew a lead-off walk, but he was running as White struck out Nate Barrentine of Beebe and Sox catcher Ryan Riggs threw him out for a doubleplay.
Likewise, after Caden Carothers of Pottsville walked to lead off the fourth, Riggs threw him out when he tried to advance on a pitch in the dirt that the Bryant catcher smothered, recovered and fired to second.
Riggs was the hitting star too with a pair of hits, including the game-ending two-run knock that made it a run-rule victory.
Hurt had moved him down in the order for the game. He had batted clean-up in the first game and was in the seven hole, for the nightcap.
“He’s been struggling,” Hurt acknowledged. “We were thinking that maybe he’d see more fastballs. Maybe it worked.”
As mentioned, the Sox didn’t get much chance to swing the bat early but scored five times in the first. Prospects starter Bryce Browlee of Fountain Lake managed to throw just one strike as he walked the first four batters, Lawson Speer, Davis, Peyton Dillon and Dakota Clay. The count went to 3-2 on J.T. Parker before he walked to force in the second run.
Dillon scored on a wild pitch then, with Riggs up and one out, the count went to 3-0. Ball four came in but it was ruled no pitch as Brownlee was called for a balk. Clay walked home, and it was 4-0.
A pitch later, Riggs did indeed draw a free pass.
Keylon relieved for Rawlings and got the second out on strikes but unleashed a wild pitch that allowed Parker to score the fifth run. Blaine Sears got Bryant’s first hit with a shot to center. Riggs tried to score on the play but was thrown out at the plate by Jackson Daniel of Little Rock Catholic.
The Sox had runners on base in every inning after that but didn’t scratch again until the home sixth. Davis led off the inning with a walk. With one out, Clay was hit by a pitch. Parker singled to center. Davis rounded third but when the throw from the outfield was caught by the cut-off man, first baseman Cadon Carothers of Pottsville, his throw to third was wild and Davis scrambled to his feet and scored.
That left runners at second and third. With two down, Riggs came up and, on a 2-2 delivery, smacked a liner to right-center to make it 8-0.