SHERWOOD — The Bryant Black Sox 9-year-old All-Stars advanced to the semifinals of the 10-and-under Cal Ripken State Tournament this morning after ousting a Sylvan Hills team, 8-6, to open bracket play.
Bryant will face a rematch at 1:30 p.m., against the Benton 10’s, who captured the number one seed for bracket play. Saturday, Benton handed the Bryant 9’s their lone loss of the tournament, 10-3.
The Bryant 9’s are coached by Bill Lloyd, Jordan Verdell, Chris Mask and Brad Martin. Players include Trey Atkins, Tanner Hogland, Cade Jackson, Griffin Lloyd, Cameron Martin, Patterson Mask, Cash McCrary, Sawyer McPherson, Hunter Robertson, Rizer Rue, Judah Summers and Landen Verdell.
A six-run eruption proved decisive for the Black Sox, who trailed 6-2 going into the bottom of the third.
Both teams scored twice in the first. For Bryant, Summers led off with an infield hit and, with one out, Martin was struck by a pitch. A passed ball moved them up to second and third. With two down, two more pitches got past the Sylvan Hills catcher allowing both runners to score.
Sylvan Hills scratched out a run with the help of a pair of walks in the top of the second. The 3-2 edge ballooned to 6-2 with a three-run top of the third.
The Sox’ rally started with walks to Summers and Lloyd. After Summers stole third, Martin hit a grounder to second where Lloyd was forced as Summers scored to make it 6-3.
Martin stole third then scored when the ball got away.
The uprising resumed when Verdell’s fly to right was dropped. He wound up at third on the play. Robertson singled him home to make it 6-5.
Mask’s ground to second was booted, setting the stage for McCrary’s triple to give Bryant a 7-6 lead. Hogland’s single plated McCrary to set the final score.
Sylvan Hills managed only a two-out single in the top of the fourth as the Sox closed it out.