MAGNOLIA — Trying to fight back to get another shot at the rival Benton All-Stars in the championship round, the Bryant Athletic Association All-Stars ran into a roadblock on Tuesday as the Sylvan Hills All-Stars broke a 2-2 tie with a run in the bottom of the fifth and held on for a 3-2 win in the Cal Ripken 10U State Tournament.
The loss ended the season for the Bryant Stars in heartbreaking fashion — their second in as many days, both by one-run.
The team, coached by C.J. Brown, includes J.T. Allen, Gavin Benson, Eli Berry, Carter Brown, Avery Heidelberg, Preston Howlett, Landon Jackson, E.J. Keith, Braxton Speer, Aiden Stout, Hudson Thomason and Marcus Wimberly.
A walk and a triple in the bottom of the fifth produced the tiebreaking run for Sylvan Hills. In the top of the sixth — Bryant’s last chance — Allen led off with a single to left. Thomason sacrificed him to second bringing up Jackson. On a 3-2 pitch, Jackson scalded a liner that was somehow caught by the Sylvan Hills first baseman. A quick throw to second doubled off Allen to end the game.
Bryant grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-run homer by Wimberly. Jackson, who had drawn a one-out walk scored on the blast.
Speer, starting on the mound for Bryant, worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the first, fanning two along the way.
Neither team had another hit until Sylvan Hills used a single, a triple and another single to tie the game in the bottom of the third.
Bryant was unable to take advantage of a one-out single by Speer in the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the inning, an error, hit batsman and a walk had the bases loaded with one out but Speer got the second out on a pop to Jackson at short then retired the side by inducing a comebacker.
In the top of the fifth, Benson walked and Heidelberg lined a single to right. With one out, Stout hit a grounder to third that resulted in a force at second. So, with two down, Bryant had runners at the corners. But Benson, trying to score on a pitch that got past the catcher, was called out at the plate as the Sylvan Hills catcher flipped to the pitcher covering.