SHERIDAN â€“ In their last matchup in mid-June, the Benton Panther legion high school team jumped on the Bryant Everett Black Sox with an 8-run fourth inning in an 11-1 Benton victory. On Saturday in the first round of the Zone Tournament in Sheridan, Everett turned the tables on the Panthers with the Black Sox shutting them out 10-0.
Panther Alex Graves stymied Everett in the teamsâ€™ previous match, but the Black Sox got to Graves with two runs in the first, two in the third and four in the bottom of the fifth inning to take an 8-0 lead.
â€śWe remembered last time we played them,â€ť Everett Coach Tyler Brown said. â€śWe played them four times but I only remember one and thatâ€™s when [Graves] shoved it pretty good. I was preaching hit a fast ball. Heâ€™s got a good change-up and a good breaking pitch, and I thought we did a good job of laying off those two pitches and hitting a fastball and it showed there toward the end.â€ť
Bryant scored plenty of runs for Everett starter Alex Shurtleff, who retired the first 11 Panthers he faced before walking Timmy Bennett with two outs in the top of the fourth. Shurtleff would lose his noâ€“hit bid the next inning when Westin Riddick hit a two-out single.
Shurtleff finished with the shut-out win giving up just three hits and two walks in six innings.
â€śThatâ€™s probably one of the best performances,â€ť Brown said of Shurtleff. â€śShurt is going to go out there and fill it up, throw a breaking pitch for a strike, heâ€™s going to work. Heâ€™s not going to walk a lot of people. Thatâ€™s one of his best performances. We expect that from him every time he goes out there. Heâ€™s our number one guy. We expect to win.â€ť
Up 2-0 after one inning, Everett added two more in the bottom of the third when Logan Allen singled to start the inning. Connor Tatum sacrifice bunted Allen to second and Allen went to third on Dylan Hurtâ€™s infield single, and would score on an error by the shortstop. Hunter Oglesby knocked in Hurt with a single to center to make it 4-0.
In the 4-run fifth, Allen scored on Garrett Misenheimerâ€™s single to right, Tatum scored on a wild pitch and Misenheimer scored on a passed ball to make it 7-0, before Hurt, who reached on a single, scored on Jordan Gentryâ€™s sacrifice fly. Hurt would hit a 2-run single in the bottom of the sixth to make it 10-0 and invoke the sportsmanship rule.
Benton put its lead-off men on in the fifth and sixth innings, but both were erased on double plays.
For Bryant, Hurt went 3 for 3 with three RBI and two runs, Tatum went 2 for 2 with two runs, Allen went 2 for 3 with three runs, and Jake East, Misenheimer and Oglesby each went 1 for 3.
â€śWeâ€™re peaking at the right time,â€ť Brown said. â€śWe played really well in Memphis (won tourney). We struggled at the beginning of the year. We were averaging about four or five errors a game. We just went error-free for the third game in a row.â€ť
For Benton, Riddick, Ty Callahan and Drew Chilton all had hits.