The Bryant Junior Black Sox will be going into tonight’s championship round of the Junior American Legion State Tournament undefeated in the tourney after Tuesday’s night 8-0 shutout over Texarkana at Bear Stadium in Conway.
Bryant’s Will Hathcote pitched six shutout innings, scattering six hits and walking two, while striking out five for the win. Tyler Bates pitched a perfect seventh inning, striking out two.
The Jr. Black Sox will face the Benton Sport Shop Dirtbags today at 5 p.m. in Conway. Should Bryant win, the Jr. Sox will become state champions. The Dirtbags would have to beat Bryant twice to take the title.
The Jr. Sox (26-8-1) began their state dominance with a 10-0 shutout over Mountain Home in the first round this past Friday before routing both Sheridan (won 13-3) and Jacksonville (8-2) on Saturday and Monday, respectively, with Sunday’s games rained out.
On Tuesday, the Jr. Sox put a run across in the bottom of the first inning as leadoff man Lawson Speer walked, with Ryan Riggs singling and Noah Davis following with a fielder’s choice. JT Parker came through with an RBI single to left field for the 1-0 lead.
Bryant brought a run across in the fourth inning on Blaine Sears sacrifice fly and put two up in the fifth on Dakota Clay’s 2-run double to plate Parker, who walked, and Davis, who doubled, for the 4-0 advantage.
A walk by Peyton Dillon and one-out singles by Speer and Riggs loaded the bases in the sixth. What should have been a sacrifice fly off Davis’ bat would turn into a 3-run error and 7-0 lead before another error resulted in the final run.
Both Parker and Clay finished 2 for 3 with a run and two RBIs, while Davis (two runs) and Riggs both went 2 for 4. Sears went 1 for 2 with a run and RBI, while Speear (two runs) and Dillon added a hit in the win.