PB Braves lose in tourney championship game

UNION CHAPEL — The Pine Bluff Braves suffered their first loss in the state of Arkansas this season on Sunday.

The Braves dropped the championship game of the 15th Annual A.L. Criswell Single Elimination Semi-Pro Baseball Tournament, 8-5, to Nicaragua. The game was scheduled to be played the week before but was postponed due to rain.

Pine Bluff scored twice in the third inning and single runs in the second, fourth, seventh and eighth innings, while Nicaragua scored one run each in the first, second, third, fifth and seventh innings and three runs in the fourth inning.

According to Braves player-coach Winfred Smith, Pine Bluff outfielder Earl White helped keep his team in the game by throwing out Nicaragua runners at the plate to end the seventh and eighth innings.

Kgtin Rider threw all nine innings for Nicaragua giving up five runs on 11 hits with four strikeouts. Rider stranded an incredible 17 runners on base, including getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning.

Pine Bluff starting pitcher Terrance Davis lasted just four innings before Deonta Howard was brought in to close out the game.

The Braves’ offense was paced by White and Corey McCoy, each went 3-for-5. One of White’s hits was a home run in the third inning. McCoy scored twice. Davis added two hits and also scored a run, while Sebastian Stargell Sr. picked up an RBI.