Improbable Comeback: Black Sox win 2nd straight state championship

The Bryant Black Sox dog pile after defeating Sheridan 3-0 in the winner-take-all title game Tuesday night at Warriors Field in Conway. After losing their first game of the tourney, Bryant won six straight. TONY LENAHAN/The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

Falling hard in the first round of the Senior American Legion State Tournament this past Friday, the Bryant Black Sox were just one loss away from their season coming to an end as they went to the loser’s bracket. But, Bryant didn’t lose again, winning six straight games to capture its second consecutive state title and fourth in five years as the Black Sox needed to defeat Sheridan twice Tuesday at Warriors Field in Conway.
The Black Sox (42-9-2) did just that. Behind the arms of Myers Buck in Game 1 and Scott Schmidt in Game 2, Bryant defeated Sheridan 3-0 in both championship-round games to advance to the Mid-South Regional held in New Orleans at Kirsch Rooney Stadium beginning Wednesday, Aug. 8.
“I think it’s because these guys play for each other,” Black Sox Coach Darren Hurt explained the improbable comeback. “They love each other and they don’t want the season to end. That’s what we feed off of. These guys play together in high school, which is different than every other legion program and they’ve played together their whole lives, so it means a lot to them. Refocusing them is not really hard to do.”
Other than the anomaly of their first-round 10-1 loss to Fort Smith Sportsman, Black Sox pitching buckled down and the offense did enough to win six straight games: 9-3 over El Dorado, 7-2 over Russellville, 11-3 over Little Rock, 5-3 over Fort Smith and 3-0, 3-0 vs. Sheridan in the title round.
Read full story in Wednesday's The Saline Courier.