Relyance Bank falls in tourney opener

Two hit-and-runs proved costly as Hamburg (15-16’s) defeated Seabrook Relyance Bank, 6-4, on Friday in the Jim Hill Wood Bat Invitational at Eddie Bryan Field at the Seabrook Family Christian Center.

“They were hitting it where we weren’t,” Relyance coach Chris Penny said.

In the bottom of the second inning, after getting within one run thanks to an infield hit by Drew Johnston, Jason Lloyd plated Johnston thanks to a hit-and-run that went through the right side hole to tie the game at 2-2.

“Hamburg had a couple of hit-and-runs and they scored a couple of runs off of it,” Penny said.

Hamburg took a two-run lead thanks to two runs in the bottom of the third.

With one out, Drake Streeter singled and moved to second on a stolen base. He later scored on an RBI double by Clayton Douglas to give the Lions a 3-2 lead.

An RBI single by Darius Crite plated Douglas and Hamburg had a 4-2 lead after three innings.

“We made the plays and played good defense,” Penny said. “Our pitching was pretty good, we just didn’t hit the ball.

“You got to hit the ball to win.”

Relyance Bank (4-1) had been swinging a good bat coming into the tournament, but Penny said the switch to the wood bats may have messed with his team’s timing.

“A little bit heavier bat probably did throw them off a little bit,” Penny said.

Relyance Bank managed just two hits in the loss.

“We have a good team, but we are real young,” Penny said.

Relyance Bank took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second thanks to a couple of errors by Hamburg.

Gage Roberts reached on a dropped throw at first and Hayden Arnold was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Roberts stole third and then an error by the pitcher allowed him to score and for Arnold to advance to third.

Aaron Frazier’s RBI single plated Arnold and gave Relyance Bank a 2-0 lead.

Andrew Morgan’s single in the top of the third was the only other hit for Relyance.

“We just couldn’t hit the ball (Friday) night,” Penny said.

Relyance scored two more runs in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, Arnold and Jaylin Williams were issued back-to-back walks.

An error and a passed ball allowed both runners to score and it cut the deficit to 6-4. Hamburg’s Clayton Douglas struck out the next batter and forced Trent Goodman to groundout to the first baseman for the final out.

Grant Smith was credited with the win for Hamburg. He allowed two runs on two hits in five innings of work. He also struck out four with two walks.

Arnold was tagged with the loss after just three innings for Relyance. He allowed four runs on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Scott Taylor pitched three innings of relief and allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and one strikeout.

“I thought they threw it well,” Penny said.

Crossett dropped out of the tournament due to low numbers forcing a schedule change for Saturday’s games. Relyance will now face Southwest Arkansas (15-16’s) at 8 a.m. at Taylor Field.