Sox fall short, miss World Series
HASTINGS, Neb. — The Bryant Black Sox would just miss out on a trip to the American Legion World Series in Shelby, North Carolina, on Sunday in the Mid-south Regional.
After eking by Fremont (Nebraska) First State Bank 5-4 on Saturday and edging host Hastings (Nebraska) Five Points Bank 3-2 Sunday afternoon, Bryant’s season would come to an end later Sunday when the Black Sox fell 8-3 to Festus, Missouri, in a winner-take-all Mid-south Regional championship. Bryant finished its season at 30-11.
It was a regional of close calls for Bryant as it started the tourney with a 3-2 win over host Hastings before falling to eventual champ Festus 2-1 on Thursday. The Sox downed the Texarkana (Texas) Bulldogs 5-4 in extra innings Friday before coming away with 1-run victories on Saturday and Sunday.
It was all Bryant early on in the championship as the Black Sox put up two runs in the bottom of the first inning on Jake Wright’s RBI triple and Gage Stark’s RBI single for the 2-0 advantage after one.
Festus scratched a run across in the third inning on a sacrifice fly to make it a
2-1 game, but the Missouri champs would get to the Sox in the top of the fifth inning
with a 6-spot to take a 7-2 lead and Bryant couldn’t recover. Just two of the six runs scored by Festus in the inning were earned.
The Black Sox did get a run in the bottom of the inning on Logan Grant’s RBI single, but were held scoreless the final two innings, despite loading the bases in the sixth inning. Bryant went in order in the seventh to end their excellent season, which included its third straight Senior American Legion State Championship.
The Black Sox outhit Festus 13-10, but left 11 men on base. Stark finished 3 for 4 with an RBI and Wright was 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI. Greiner was 2 for 3, while Logan Chambers and Grant both went 2 for 4. Logan Catton and Cade Drennan both added a hit apiece.
Slade Renfrow started for the Sox giving up three runs on five hits and three walks, striking out three in four innings. Tyler Bates relieved giving up five runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks, striking out seven in three innings.
Black Sox 3, Hastings 2 Bryant had to come back for victory in this one. Down 2-1 heading into the top of the sixth inning, Stark and Noah Davis singled, going to second and third on Peyton Dillon’s sac bunt. After Ryan Riggs drew a walk to load the bases, Stark scored on a passed ball to tie things at 2-2 and Davis scored on Greiner’s squeeze bunt for the eventual game-winner.
Grant started and picked up the win giving up two runs on just two hits and two walks, striking out five in 5.2 innings pitched. Greiner nailed down the save giving up one hit and one walk in 1.1 scoreless innings.
Catton finished 2 for 3 with an RBI and Stark went 2 for 3 with a run. Chambers, Drennan, Davis and Greiner all had a hit each.
Black Sox 5, Fremont 4 Tied 2-2 after three innings, the Black Sox scored a run each in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and held on for the win as Bates shut the door on Freemont, giving up an unearned run on no hits and one walk, striking out two in 1.1 innings. Will Hatchote started giving up three runs on six hits and five walks, striking out six in 5.2 innings.
Stark finished 2 for 2 with two RBIS, Davis 2 for 3 with two runs and Grant was 2 for 3 with an RBI. Chambers and Drennan both had a hit each.