BRYANT – The Bryant Everett Black Sox took advantage of 10 walks and seven errors in an 11-2 win over the Atlanta, Texas, Rebels on Saturday morning in the American Legion Junior Regional Tournament at Bryant High School.
Despite four errors and two unearned runs allowed, the Rebels were down just 3-2 after five and a half innings, but walks and errors came back to haunt Atlanta once again. Dalton Holt led the bottom of the fifth off with a single to left field, reached third on two wild pitches and scored on a passed ball to make it 4-2.
Blake Patterson walked between a fly out and a pop out, but Rebels’ starting pitcher Clayton Jaynes walked three consecutive Black Sox batters to force in another run to make it 5-2 Bryant. With two outs, Brandan Warner hit a long fly ball to right-center field, but the center fielder dropped the ball for another error and three runs scored to put the game out of reach for the Rebels. Warner would steal third base and score on a wild pitch to make it 9-3 after five innings.
“We saw a pretty good lefty,” Bryant Coach Tyler Brown said of Jaynes. “It seems like we’ve been seeing a lot of good lefties lately. The guy was good. At the beginning of the game, he was working us pretty good, throwing strikes. A couple of plays here and there, and that ballgame is tied up or we’re possibly losing.”
Jaynes struck out 6 out of the first 7 Bryant outs of the game, but the Black Sox managed to get an unearned run in the bottom of the second when Connor Tatum reached on an infield single, stole second and would score on an error by the centerfielder. Jaynes finished giving up nine runs (three earned) on four hits and eight walks in 4.2 innings. He struck out seven.
Despite getting only four hits on the day, Bryant took 10 walks.
“We stayed and competed at the dish,” Brown said. “We didn’t swing at bad pitches and we took walks when they gave them to us. Sometimes that’s how a baseball game goes and that’s what you have to do to win it. Do whatever it takes to manufacture runs.”
Atlanta responded to Bryant’s second-inning run with a run in the top of the third. Reid Bynum singled to left field off Everett starter Harrison Dale, but was erased on a fielder’s choice by Blake Burns. Brian Kemp would double to right field to put runners at second and third and Jaynes singled to right to tie the game at 1-apiece.
Dale would give up his second run in the top of the fifth when he hit the first batter (Burns) of the inning with a pitch, a sacrifice bunt put Burns at second and a Dale wild pitch moved him to third. Burns would score to make it 3-2 on an RBI ground out by Jaynes. Dale got the win giving up two runs on six hits in seven innings. He walked two, hit three batters and struck out two, throwing 96 pitches.
“He’s been strong all year long,” Brown said of Dale. “He can throw three pitches for a strike. He’s one of our workhorses. He’ll eat a lot of innings and he’ll go out there, and one of his big things that I love about him, when he comes to the field every day, whether it’s a game or practice, he’s ready to compete. He’ll compete until his very last pitch and that’s all you can ask out of a kid. That’s a great mindset going up there on the bump (mound), especially for a kid who is 17-years-old. He put us on his back, kept them off-balance, threw strikes and in the end got the W.”
The Black Sox also did something they haven’t done a lot of on the season. Defense has not been a strong suit for Bryant, but Everett didn’t commit an error in the game.
“That is why we won that game,” Brown said. “They had base runners on. An error here or there for us and we’re losing that game. I think that’s the difference in the game right there is that zero in the E column. That and taking our walks. Our defense is getting there and that’s the time to do it.”
Not only did the Black Sox play solid defensively, they turned two very good double plays, the first coming in the second inning when Tatum went in the hole at shortstop, backhanded it and threw quickly to Drew Tipton at second base, and the second coming in the sixth inning when Warner fielded the ball near the third-base line, threw strong to second, who in turn threw it to first base.
Hunter Oglesby, Tatum and Warner each went 1 for 3, with Oglesby and Warner each knocking in a run, and Oglesby and Tatum each scored two runs. Holt went 1 for 4 with a run and Trey Breeding didn’t get a hit, but scored and picked up an RBI on the bases-loaded walk. Seven of the 10 walks Bryant was issued scored.
For Atlanta, Dillon Smith went 2 for 3, Clayton Hancock went 1 for 2, Bynum and Brian Kemp each went 1 for 3, and Jaynes went 1 for 4 with the team’s only two RBI.
Bryant played Jonesboro Armor Seed on Saturday night and results will be in Monday’s edition. Go to SalineCourierSports on Twitter and Facebook for results. Atlanta played Cabot in an elimination game on Saturday and results will be in Monday’s.