Braves beat England in extra innings


NORTH LITTLE ROCK — It took them 10 innings, but the Pine Bluff Braves semi-pro baseball team finally got to England All-Stars pitcher Brian Bryles.

The Braves pulled out the hard-fought 6-1, 10-inning victory Sunday at the North Little Rock Police Athletic League Complex.

The Braves’ Derrick Houser led off the five-run 10th inning with a double. A single and hit batsman loaded the bases for Pine Bluff.

A forceout at home kept the game tied, but a walk to Sebastian Stargell Jr. forced in Jordan Stargell to give Pine Bluff the lead.

After the walk, Bryles gave way to Adrian Motten and Chase Smith greeted him with a two-run single to give the Braves (11-1) some breathing room.

Bryles took the hard-luck loss, his first as an All-Star, according to Braves player/coach Winfred Smith, after throwing 9 1/3 innings while striking out eight and scattering eight hits.

The Braves countered Bryles with four solid pitching performances of their own.

Michael Newby pitched the first three innings striking out five while giving up three hits.

Terrance Davis gave up no hits during his two innings of work.

England finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth when Bryles helped out his own cause with an RBI single off of Will Harris in his only inning of work.

Pine Bluff also picked up its first run in the sixth inning.

Just like it would four innings later, a walk to Stargell Jr. came back to bite Bryles when Stargell Jr. came around to score on a hit by Earl White Jr.

Smith pitched the seventh through the 10th innings, giving up just four hits in the process, to pick up the win.

England’s best chance to get to Smith came in the bottom of the ninth.

A leadoff double by Westly Brooks, who scored England’s lone run, led to Pine Bluff intentionally walking Bryles.

After a forceout kept runners at first and second, Smith got a strike out and fly out to end the threat and set up the Braves for their big inning.

The Braves will play a pair of games this coming Sunday at Bishop Park in Bryant. The first game will be at 1 p.m. against the Conway Catfish with a game against Bryant to follow at 5:30.