The Blue Springs Black Sox had an opportunity to squeak out a win in Friday’s pool play game against DeSoto (Mo.) SCMI in the American Legion Wood Bat Invitational.
Coming off a tough 2-0 loss against Lincoln (Neb.) Union Bank in the morning, the Black Sox needed a win for a chance to advance to the quarterfinals.
Blue Springs trailed 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh before Nate Camby drilled a one-out, two-run single to center field to cut the deficit to one. However, DeSoto pitcher Tom Hahn got K.J. Jeffries to fly out and struck out Tanner Yeisley with runners on second and third base to hang on for a 6-5 win Friday at Crysler Stadium.
The Black Sox finished pool play 1-3 and struggles on offense cost them in all three of their tournament losses.
“That bats have just been cold,” Black Sox manager Mick Simpson said. “We had a little bit of bad luck, hitting balls right at guys. We just have to tighten up some approaches. We are being aggressive too early in the count sometimes.”
Blue Springs found some offense in the bottom of the third inning as the game was scoreless. Nate Rosales and Mason Rogers began the inning with back-to-back singles. Trent Flake then hit a flare that dropped in short left field for an RBI double. Nate Camby got Rogers home with a squeeze bunt and Flake scored on Jeffries’ RBI groundout to make it 3-0.
After Black Sox pitcher Tyler Pyle cruised through the first three innings, he was tagged for five runs in the top of the fourth. He surrendered three walks and a pair of two-run singles to Hahn and Cam Krodinger. Another run came across on Caleb Dickmann’s RBI fielder’s choice grounder to make it 5-3.
Hahn made it 6-3 in the sixth frame with an RBI single, but Blue Springs pitcher Seth Kilborn got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam to keep his team in it.
The Black Sox rallied in the seventh, but fell just short.
“Not having offense until the very end was hard,” Camby said. “Our pitching stayed together like it always has, we just have to get the offense rolling sooner.
“We didn’t swing the bats as good as we used to (in the tournament). We are definitely disappointed. It’s not what we expected.”
Simpson said he was ecstatic to accept the invite to the Wood Bat Invitational as this was the first year teams outside the American Legion were allowed to play in it. He said he hopes to come back next season.
“We’re from Blue Springs, and I love baseball,” Simpson said. “We support local baseball. This is a great tournament and they have been doing it for a long time. I just asked if we could be involved.
“If they let us back, we will be here.”
Rogers, an all-state pick this spring for Grain Valley High School, paced the Black Sox offense by going 2-for-4.