Black Sox score 5 in 5th, defeat Hope
BRYANT — The Bryant Black Sox American Legion baseball team used a barrage of hits and a couple of errors in the fifth inning to score five runs as they eventually defeated Hope 11-3 Saturday during the Zone 4 Senior Legion Tournament at Bryant High School.
Trailing 3-1 in the fifth, the Sox received back-to-back singles from Tyler Brown and Jordan Taylor. Taylor’s hit was good enough to move Brown to third and he later scored on a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Landon Pickett.
Chris Joiner followed with an infield single and Josh Pultro singled up the middle to load the bases. Two runners would scored on a single through the right side by Lucas Castleberry.
Castleberry later stole second and with one out scored on an error by Hope’s shortstop that allowed Caleb Garrett to reach first.
Hope brought in new pitcher Jacob McCloud, but before he got the final out on a fly ball to center, another run would score on a botched pick off attempt.
Hope took a 1-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a pair of hits including a RBI triple by McCloud.
Bryant tied the game in the third. With two outs, Tyler Brown walked on four pitches and scored after back-to-back singles by Taylor and Pickett’s RBI bloop hit to center field.
Hope’s Cody Engstrom hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth to break the tie and give Hope a 3-1 lead. WIth two outs, Taylor Wood singled to center before Engstrom’s shot to left.
Bryant earned a bye in the tournament after winning the conference in the regular season and Hope defeated Benton McClendon’s Appliance 16-1 Friday afternoon to advance in the winner’s bracket of the tournament.
Bryant’s Brady Butler pitched seven innings and allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks. Matt Neal pitched the final two innings and struck out two batters but did not allow a hit or a run.
Bryant scored four more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Catcher B.J. Ellis led off with a walk and Garrett followed with a single. Ellis later scored on a throwing error and after a second walk in the inning, Hope brought in relief pitcher Ryan Huntze.
He immediately gave up a RBI squeeze play by Tyler Brown. Jordan Taylor walked and Pickett was hit by a pitch to force in another run. With runners on second and third and no body out, Evan Jobe pitch ran for Pickett. If Jobe had scored the game would have been called for the 10-run mercy rule.
However, both runners were left stranded and the game continued.
Hope’s starter, Kevin Aaron, was pulled in the fourth inning with two outs and allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Bryant Black Sox will play Texarkana today at 4 p.m.