Braves win final tuneup for tournament

BRYANT — In its final tune-up for the Wood Bat World Championship, the Pine Bluff Braves semi-pro baseball team run-ruled the Little Rock Rangers 13-2 on Sunday at Bishop Park.

The Braves offense came out firing right away with a pair of two-run innings to open the game. Corey McCoy and Deonta Howard had the big hits in the first inning for the Braves. In the second inning, Sebastian Stargell Sr. had an RBI groundout and Chase Smith followed with an RBI single.

Little Rock narrowed the deficit with single runs in the second and fourth innings, but left the bases loaded in the fourth frame and failed to score the rest of the game.

The Braves responded with two runs in the top of the fifth and tacked on three runs in the seventh and four in the eighth to apply the run-rule.

With tournament preparation in mind, Pine Bluff threw several pitchers on Sunday.

Michael Newby got the start and threw three innings, Smith pitched the fourth and fifth frames, Jeffery Works, Stargell Sr. and Howard each threw an inning.

Earl White Jr. led Pine Bluff with three RBIs, while McCoy contributed two hits and two runs scored.

According to player/manager Winfred Smith, the Braves will kick off the wood-bat tournament against the Emerald Coast Vicarrows out of Pensacola, Fla., at 4 p.m. Friday at Spain Park Sports Complex in Hoover, Ala.

The Braves will turn right around and play against the Over the Mountain Gold out of Birmingham, Ala., at 6:30 p.m.

Pine Bluff will conclude pool play with a game against the tournament host Alabama Outlaws at 11 a.m. Saturday. The tournament’s championship round will be played on Sunday.