LITTLE ROCK — The Sport Shop Black Sox Junior American Legion team of Bryant rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth then Blake Patterson, who was in the middle of things during the rally, pitched out of a two-on, no-out jam in the bottom of the inning as the Sox surprised Little Rock Post 1 Blue at Buddy Coleman Memorial Field on Tuesday.
The win improved Sport Shop to 3-4 going into tonight’s home game against one of the Benton Junior teams at 6 p.m.
Andrew Kincaid, the second of Bryant’s three pitchers picked up the win with Patterson earning a save.
The game was a seesaw battle with Blue taking a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the first then the Sox rallying to build a 6-4 edge in the second before Little Rock scored a run in the third and two in the fourth to grab a 7-6 lead that held until the sixth.
The Sox erased a one-out walk in the bottom of the fifth by turning a doubleplay. With the time-limit on the game nearing, they came to the plate in the sixth. Braylon Mays got the rally started by waiting out a walk. An errant pickoff throw allowed him to race all the way to third and, from there, he scored the tying run when Dalton Holt lined a single to left.
With one out, Patterson drilled one to deep center for a double. Holt raced all the way home from first to put the Sox ahead and when C.J. Phillips reached on an error, Patterson came around to make it 9-7.
An error gave Blue some hope to start the bottom of the sixth. A walk put runners at first and second. But Patterson relieved and got a strikeout to swing the momentum back Bryant’s way.
Moments later, however, a bloop single produced a bases-loaded, one-out jam. But Patterson picked off the runner at third then got the final out on the comebacker to nail down the victory.
Sport Shop had taken the upper hand initially. Drew Tipton reached on an error to start the game and Patterson drew a walk. With Phillips up, Tipton stole third and scored on a passed ball.
In the bottom of the inning, however, Blue was sparked by a bunt single, a double and a walk. After a strikeout, a two-run single put the Little Rock team ahead. A pair of passed balls around a walk made it 4-1.
The Sox came right back with a five-run top of the second that Jimbo Seale ignited with a lead-off double. Weston Jones singled Seale to third and took second when the throw missed the cut-off man. A walk to Mays filled the bags for Holt. His hard grounder to short was booten and both Seale and Jones came home to make it 4-3.
With runners at the corners, Tipton smacked a single to right for a game-tying RBI. Holt took third on the play and scored on a base hit by Patterson.
With the late throw to the plate, Tipton and Patterson advanced to second and third. With one down, Hunter Oglesby put the ball in play and picked up an RBI on a grounder to short to make it 6-4.
Tre Davis, the Bryant starter, worked around a one-out walk in the bottom of the second striking out a pair. But the Sox came up empty in the top of the third as well.
Little Rock trimmed a run off the lead in the home third, taking advantage of a pair of walks with a sacrificed and an RBI groundout, making it 6-5.
Despite a lead-off single by Holt in the top of the fourth, Sport Shop was unable to add to that advantage so, when Blue rallied for two in the home fourth, it regained the upper hand.
Kincaid, in relief of Davis, surrendered a single but followed with a strikeout. An error produced a run and a double drove in the go-ahead tally. With a runner at second and just one out, Kincaid induced a fly to Oglesby in center and a tap back to the mound to keep it a one-run game.
Dakota Besancon’s one-out single in the top of the fifth came to naught, setting up the dramatic finish.
Sport Shop 9, LR Blue 7