SPORTS>> Bruins on cruise early in A district
By Jason King
Leader sports writer
The Sylvan Hills Bruins A squad has been on a roll in the American Legion zone tournament at Burns Park. The Bruins won their first three games in the tournament in decisive form, controlling all three games both offensively and defensively.
“I am very pleased with the way these guys have played so far,” Bruins head coach Brock Moore said. “They are all hitting the ball excellent. One through nine, everyone has been solid.”
In Friday night’s opener, the Bruins routed Gwatney 10-0. Taylor Roark stood out for Sylvan Hills in Friday’s game with a two-run homer. “We didn’t have one big inning in that game like we wanted to,” Moore said. “The runs were kind of scattered throughout the game.”
Saturday’s game against Greenbrier went just as easily for the Bruins. Hunter Miller put in a great performance on the mound for Sylvan Hills in Saturday’s game, with nine Ks on the day.
Sylvan Hills did most of their scoring damage in the top of the second inning. Jarrett Boles scored the first run for the Bruins, when catcher David Simpson RBI’d to center field.
The Bruins also got some help from Greenbrier errors on Saturday. A missed throw to second allowed Sylvan Hills to load the bases. A pair of RBIs by Jerry Lawson and Ryan Wood gave Sylvan Hills a 4-0 advantage. Lawson tagged up on a pop-up to add one more run for the Bruins before the end of the inning.
Things looked pretty bleak for Greenbrier offensively, with only one hit through the first three innings.
Miller’s pitching proved to be too much for Greenbrier, as Miller caught five looking in the opening three innings.
The Bruins added two more runs in the top of the fourth inning. A deep shot to center from Boles drove in Lawson and Wood to give the Bruins a 7-0 lead.
Greenbrier finally scored in the bottom of the fourth. The Bruins allowed one run, but Miller once again pulled through for Sylvan Hills. With bases loaded and no outs, Greenbrier looked as if they might get back in the game. Miller decided against it, striking out one batter and fielding two other hits to hold Greenbrier to only one run.
David Simpson scored one more run for the Bruins in the top of the fifth off of another Greenbrier error. Greenbrier tried to come back in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs. Relief pitcher Boles kept things under control, forcing the final two batters for Greenbrier to ground out, giving the game to Sylvan Hills 8-4.
Sunday’s game against Conway started out with a scare for the Bruins. Conway jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Sylvan Hills was able to answer in the bottom of the first, with runs from Wood, Taylor Roark and Miller.
The bottom of the third inning would prove disastrous for the Wampus Cats, as the Bruins went on a nine run scoring spree. Every batter in the lineup made it to base at one point in the inning. Conway was finally forced put in its third pitcher in three innings to try and end the nine run assault.
By the time Conway got their third out, the Bruins had run the score up 12-3. Each team would go on to score one run apiece in the final innings, giving Sylvan Hills an important win.
Sunday’s win also put Sylvan Hills into the semi-finals of the tournament as the only remaining unbeaten team. It would also put them one win away from a bid to the state tournament.
“We’re confident right now, but we are not taking anything for granted,” Moore said. “We are definitely not taking anyone lightly.”