STATE AMERICAN LEGION
BRYANT 3-3, SHERIDAN 0-0
CONWAY -- Hugs are usually reserved for after winning efforts, but Bryant pitcher Scott Schmidt and Blacksox Manager Darren Hurt could not contain themselves Tuesday night.
Before he left the mound with one out in the seventh inning, Schmidt embraced Hurt and Bryant went on to take a 3-0 victory over Sheridan McCoy-Tygart in the championship game of the American Legion Senior State Tournament at Hendrix College.
Schmidt limited Sheridan to five hits as the Blacksox overcame a first-round 10-1 loss to Fort Smith to claim their second consecutive state legion title. Bryant won six consecutive games to advance to the regionals next week in New Orleans.
"The kid just goes in there and competes in a game like that," Hurt said of Schmidt. "He's not one of our top-end rotation guys but what a gutsy effort. It was unbelievable."
Earlier in the afternoon, Myers Buck threw six scoreless innings as the Blacksox forced a deciding game with the first 3-0 decision of the day.
"We just could never get any rhythm at the plate," Sheridan Manager Mike Moore said. "We just didn't have anybody that was going up there every at-bat that could hit consistently. We got two well-pitched games but the bottom line is that we just didn't hit."
Bryant took the lead in Tuesday's championship game two pitches into the contest when Logan Chambers mashed a one-strike offering from Sheridan's Haydn Finley over the right-field wall.
It was all the Blacksox needed.
"I was surprised myself," said Chambers, who was given the tournament's most valuable hitter award. "I thought it was hooking foul. Luckily, it stayed fair."
Chambers was 3 for 7 with four runs scored in Tuesday's games.
"Basically, he's done it all year," Hurt said of Chambers. "He's got a lot of power to that side and nobody really knows that in this tournament because he hasn't been hitting for power. ... It doesn't surprise me to see him hit one out at any time."
Sheridan had its chances. In the second inning, Dalton Domrase and Nathan Kirkpatrick both singled but the rally died shortly after Devin Koonce could not keep an attempted bunt fair down the third-base line. A pitch later Domrase was picked off second base, and after a strike out Kirkpatrick was caught stealing to end the inning.
Domrase doubled to start the fifth inning but he never left second base.
"We didn't execute in situations all night," Moore said. "The defense was great; the pitching was great. We took some runs away from them with our defense. We just didn't hit and it's hard to understand why."
Two errors in the seventh inning helped Bryant pad its advantage.
Coby Greiner started the seventh inning with a single and Chambers was hit by a pitch. Logan Catton put down a sacrifice bunt that went for an error allowing Greiner to score. Chambers would later score on a dropped ball at the plate on a double steal.
Schmidt struck out three and walked one. After Domrase singled off of Schmidt with one out in the seventh, reliever Boston Heil got the final two outs for the save.
In the first game, Myers Buck tossed six shutout innings. He allowed only 3 singles, walked 2 and struck out 2 in a game that was delayed 75 minutes after a rainstorm struck Warrior Field in the top of the seventh inning. Greiner worked a perfect seventh inning to pick up the save in the first game.
"It was a great pitching performance after great pitching performance and Myers was no different," Hurt said. "I thought he was as good tonight as he has been all year."
Cade Drennan went 3 for 4 in the first game. His first-inning single brought in Chambers for the game's first run. Drennan, a junior at Bryant High School, went 8 for 16 in the final four games of the tournament.
Domrase suffered the loss. He went 6 innings, allowed 9 hits, walked 3 and struck out 2.
Bryant increased its lead to 2-0 in the third when Chambers singled, stole second and third base and scored on an error. The Blacksox scored their final run in the sixth inning when Logan Grant came home on a bases-loaded double play ball.
Peyton Dillon also had three hits for Bryant.
Bryant's Will McEntire was named the tournament's most valuable player, while Sheridan's Tyler Cleveland earned most valuable pitcher honors.
Sports on 08/01/2018
Print Headline: Bryant conquers Sheridan for title