BRYANT â€“ Along with former Bryant Hornet, Bryant Black Sox, and Arkansas Razorback pitcher Trent Daniel (drafted in the 17th round to the Colorado Rockies) in attendance, the Bryant Black Sox swept a two-game series against Russellville by scores of 3-2 and 4-1 on Monday at Bryant Hornet field.
â€śIt was nice to be at home,â€ť Bryant Black Sox Coach Darren Hurt said. â€śThey were into the game and intense and I think it helped us defensively. Our pitching is doing a great job. Weâ€™re getting ground ball after ground ball and if we make plays behind them, weâ€™re not going to have to score as many runs.â€ť
The visitors from Russellville struck first early in the opening game. An error allowed Jordan Haas to reach second base safely on the first at-bat of the game. A sacrifice bunt moved him to third and he was brought home on an RBI single by Cody Underhill. Russellville added its last run in the second inning with an RBI single from Haas.
Bryant (10-1) answered back in the bottom half of the third inning with its first run of the day. An error allowed second basemen Korey Thompson to reach second base safely. A fly out to right field allowed Thompson to advance to third and he would score on a wild pitch later in the inning. Bryant took the lead in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Starting pitcher Ozzie Hurt doubled to left field to open the inning and a wild pitch allowed Hurt to move to third. He would be brought home on a sacrifice bunt from catcher Hayden Lessenberry. The Black Sox took the 3-2 lead on a bunt single from centerfielder Hayden Daniel and used good defense and pitching to close out Russellville the last two innings.
Hurt earned the win after pitching 5.1 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Nate Rutherford earned the save after pitching 1.2 innings allowing no runs and no hits with no walks and one strikeout.
The Black Sox were led offensively by Daniel, who finished 2 for 3 with an RBI. Russellville was led by Hass who finished 1 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.
The visitors from Russellville once again struck first in the opening inning. A single from Mitchell Mullen put a runner on with one out. He moved to second on a groundout and was brought home on an RBI double from Corey Hottinger. Bryant answered back with two runs in the bottom half of the third inning. A leadoff walk to second baseman Korey Thompson was followed by an error to put runners at first and third with no out. A sacrifice bunt from shortstop Ozzie Hurt allowed Thompson to score and third basemen Trevor Ezell was able to score from first when the throw sailed past first base and into foul territory.
Bryant added another run in the fourth inning after an RBI single from catcher Zach Graddy scored right fielder Chase Tucker. The Black Sox added an insurance run in the bottom half of the sixth inning when first basemen Blake Patterson scored from third base on a balk by Russellville pitcher Jordan Haas. Bryantâ€™s defense and pitching once again helped close out Russellville and preserve the win. Starting pitcher Devin Dupree earned the win after four innings, allowing one run (earned) on three hits with no walks and one strikeout. Tryce Schalchlin picked up the save after pitching three innings allowing no runs and one hit with no walks and two strikeouts.
The Black Sox were led at the plate by Graddy, who finished 2 for 3 with an RBI while Patterson added a 2 for 2 performance with a run scored. Russellville was led by Hottinger who finished 1 for 3 with an RBI.