FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS – Bryant’s Black Sox brought a touch of Arkansas to Southwestern Illinois the past weekend.
The Black Sox defeated West O’Fallon, Mo., 8-7 in eight innings Sunday to win the American Senior Legion Firecracker Tournament at Longacre Park. Bryant, now 32-4, went 6-0 this time in successfully defending its baseball title. The Black Sox of central Arkansas were 5-1 in claiming the 2013 crown.
West O’Fallon, the winner of the Fairview Heights pool, finished with a 4-2 record in the three-day, 15-team tournament. West O’Fallon eliminated Belleville, 4-1, in Sunday’s second semifinal. Bryant ousted Texarkana, Ark., 8-2 in the first semi.
It was Bryant winning Pool A at Alton’s Moore Park on Saturday. The Black Sox defeated Alton, 8-0, Jerseyville, 8-1, St. Charles, Mo., and Eureka, Mo., to go 4-0 at Hopkins Field.
Texarkana prevailed in the Belleville pool at Whitey Herzog Field. The Hilgards went 3-1 in their group, the same as the Metro East Bears in the Alton pool. However, Belleville won the run differential tie-breaker to secure a wild card berth in the semifinals.
The 19-5 Bears, who beat Jerseyville, 2-0, Eureka, Mo., 8-0 and St. Charles, Mo., 3-2, after bowing to Bryant, 8-0, resume District 22 play Monday night.
Metro East, which is 9-1 in league action, can clinch the title outright with a victory at home against Belleville. First pitch is at 7:30. If the Hilgards win, they will be tied with the Bears for first place in the seven-team district.
Jerseyville, posting a 2-2 record in Pool A of the Firecracker Tournament at Alton, owns a 10-5 record. Post 492 won its first two tourney games, then lost to Bryant, 8-1 and Metro East, 2-0. Jerseyville doesn’t play again until July 13, when District 20 competition begins.