Sox survive in extras
CONWAY – The Bryant Black Sox Senior American Legion baseball team tied the first game of a doubleheader against the Fort Smith Kerwins 4-4 in the seventh and last inning, but it took the Sox five more innings to come away with a 5-4 12-inning victory on relief pitcher Tryce Schacilin’s single to score Tyler Nelson from third on Thursday night at Bear Stadium on the University of Central Arkansas campus in Conway. The Black Sox handled the Kerwins in the second game 11-4.
In the bottom of the 12th, Nelson reached on a four-pitch walk and stole second base. The Kerwin catcher overthrew the bag and Nelson advanced to third base before Schacilin hit his game-winner to left field on a 2-2 count.
Not only did Schacilin hit the game-winner, he got the win as the pitcher after Nelson started and gave up one run in five innings. Jordan Taylor relieved Nelson in the sixth inning, but got into trouble. Taylor gave up five consecutive hits without making an out before Schacilin relieved him and pitched the rest of the game.
Schacilin finished the game giving up no runs on two hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out three while throwing 82 pitches.
The Black Sox (7-0) struck first in the bottom of the first when leadoff man Hunter Mayall doubled to left field and advanced to third on Nelson’s ground out. Taylor hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Mayall and give Bryant a 1-0 lead.
The Sox went up 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Taylor singled to center and Landon Pickett doubled to left field to put runners at second and third base. After Josh Pultro popped out, catcher Hayden Lessenberry singled to center field to score Taylor and Tyler Brown laid down a squeeze bunt to score Pickett for the three-run lead.
But the Kerwins responded in the top of the fifth when Nelson walked the first batter of the inning, Spencer McClure, who went to third base on Conard Carr’s single to left field. Nelson struck out the next two batters on curve balls, but gave up a single to Max Schaffer to score McClure to get the Kerwins within 3-1.
Taylor started the sixth inning and gave up three singles to right field and one each to left and center field. None of the singles were hit very hard, with three of the hits just squeezing through the infield, but the hits resulted in two runs to tie it at 3-3. Schacilin relieved Taylor and second baseman Ozzie Hurt turned an unassisted double play, but a run scored to give Fort Smith the lead at 4-3. Schacilin induced a pop out on the next batter and was dominant after that.
Nelson gave up a run on three hits and three walks in his five innings while striking out two and Taylor gave up five hits without recording an out.
The Black Sox probably should have won the game in the bottom of the seventh when they had the bases loaded with no outs, but could only muster one run. Brown singled to center to start the inning and Hayden Daniel singled to right. Hurt attempted to sacrifice bunt the runners over, but he reached on a hit when his bunt was placed perfectly to load the bases.
After Marcus Wilson, who came in for Mayall when Taylor came in on relief, lined out, Nelson walked to score the tying run. Taylor lined out to the second baseman and Hurt was caught off second base and was doubled up to end the inning and the Black Sox threat.
Brown, Lessenberry and Hurt each had two hits, and Taylor went 1 for 2 with a run and RBI, and Mayall went 1 for 3 with a run.
In the second game, the Black Sox scored three in the first and two each in the second and third innings on their way to an 11-4 win.
Nate Rutherford started for Bryant and picked up the win. He gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks in six innings pitched. He struck out five. Josh Pultro gave up a hit in an inning of relief while striking out two.
Taylor, Daniel and Zach Graddy each had two hits, and Pickett went 1 for 4 with two runs and three RBIs including a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Black Sox won’t play again until next Wednesday when the travel to Omaha, Neb., to play in a tournament.