Sox fall short, miss World Se­ries

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Tony Le­na­han tle­na­[email protected]­ton­courier.com

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.

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