Sox pick up 2nd straight shutout

LITTLE ROCK – The Bryant Black Sox Senior (19-under) American Legion baseball team went to Buddy Coleman Field at Central High School in Little Rock and shutout out the Little Rock Blues 7-0 on Tuesday night. The Black Sox improved their season record to 3-0 after beating Cabot 11-5 in the first game of the year and topping Benton 9-0 last Wednesday.

Sox starting pitcher Tyler Nelson gave up just one hit and no runs for the win. Nelson walked four and struck out eight, including six in a row, in five innings pitched (93 pitches). He had a no-hitter until he gave up a single to center field to begin the bottom of the sixth inning.
“Nelson threw a good game; he just walked too many,” Sox Coach Darren Hurt said of Nelson’s pitch count. “But, when he was throwing strikes, they didn’t hit him hard at any point. He’s got to work on [walks], but he threw a gem.

“Pitch count got too high. A hated to pull him for a no-no, but I was getting real close. I went ahead and sent him out there for the sixth knowing if they got a hit, he was coming out. We had Nate ready to go. As soon as they got that hit, it was a no-brainer.”

Nate Rutherford, the 7A State Tournament MVP, relieved for Nelson after the single and retired four in a row before walking a batter. He struck out the next two Blues on a foul-tip fastball and an inside change up to end the game. Rutherford struck out two in two innings pitched.

The Black Sox got on the board in the top of the first when Hunter Mayall reached on a four-pitch walk, went to second on a wild pitch and third on Nelson’s infield single. Mayall would scored on the second baseman’s error to give Bryant a 1-0 lead, but Landon Pickett grounded into a double play and Nelson was caught stealing at home when the pitcher threw a wild pitch, but covered when the catcher got him the ball before Nelson’s slide.

The Sox made up for their missed chances in the top of the second inning when Hayden Lessenberry struck out, but was made it to first when the ball got away from the catcher, who then threw it in the dirt near first. Lessenberry was erased on Hayden Daniel’s fielder’s choice and Ozzie Hurt was hit by a pitch. After Marcus Wilson flew out to center field for the second out, Mayall hit a two-run double, Nelson an RBI single and Jordan Taylor a single to center to score a run to put Bryant up 5-0.

“We did enough early,” Coach Hurt said. “Their pitcher threw a heck of a game. We know what kind of pitcher he is. We knew it was going to be tough to score on him. Getting that one in the first, which should have been more. We let it slip away in the first inning, but in the second inning, we got some breaks and made them pay for it.

Once we got that 5-0 lead, Nelson settled in and took care of it from there, him and Rutherford.”

Bryant scored two more in the top of the seventh inning when Taylor hit a double to left field after the fielder misjudged the ball. Pickett reached on the shortstop’s error and Tyler Brown reached on a bunt single when he attempted to sacrifice the runners over. Lessenberry, who struck out his previous three at bats, doubled to left field to score Taylor and Pickett and set the final 7-0 margin.

Mayall, the left fielder, went 2 for 2 with two runs, two RBIs and 12 total bases. He also walked and was hit by a pitch.

“He does what he always does,” Hurt said of Mayall. ‘He’s a freak is what he is. The kid just finds a way to get on base. You can get him two strikes and he’s going to foul it off, foul it off, and then the next thing you know, he’s going to put one in left field, right field, you never know. He’s a great hitter.”

Taylor and Nelson each went 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI, and hurt went 2 for 3 with a run. The Black Sox outhit the Blues 10-1.

The Black sox travel to Lake Hamilton on Thursday to play a double header.

Sport Shop Black Sox win late
The Bryant Sport Shop Black Sox Junior American Legion team were down by a run going into the last inning, but scored three in the final inning to defeat the Blues Jr. team 9-7 on Tuesday at Buddy Coleman Field in Little Rock.

“It was a great win,” Jr. Sox Coach Tyler Pickett said. “All the kids really contributed. We struggled on the mound a little bit early, but we settled in and held them.”

Down 7-6 in the last inning, Bryant’s Caleb Chaffin walked and Collins Fredericksson pinch ran. Fredericksson stole second base when the pitcher attempted to pick him off at first, but the ball got away allowing Fredericksson to reach third base. Dalton Holt followed with an RBI single to right field to tie it at 7-7.

Two batters later, Blake Patterson doubled in Holt from first base to give the Sox the 8-7 lead and later scored on an error for the final tally.

“We had some big at bats,” Pickett said. “One by Jimbo Seale to get it going for us in the second inning. Then we had a great at bat by Caleb Chaffin to get on base for us late. We put in Collins and he got us to third. Dalton Holt had a big hit to drive in that run and really get us going again.

“We had a good time. It was fun, I love it when we win, especially when everyone contributes like that.”

The Sport Shop Black Sox (3-4) will play next today against Benton Sport Shop.