On the heels of their romp over Benton on Friday, the Bryant Black Sox 15U team erupted for nine runs in the third inning on the way to another lopsided win, 18-1 over the Fort Smith All-Stars Saturday morning, completing play in their pool at 2-0.
The Sox will be the top seed heading into bracket play at the Babe Ruth State Tournament, held at Bryant High School Field. Fort Smith came back to oust Benton so the Sox will have a rematch at 3:30 p.m., with the winner playing for the State title at 6.
The other semifinal will be a rematch as well when Sylvan Hills takes on Camden (Ouachita County) at 1 p.m., on Sunday. Saturday, Camden remained unbeaten with a 7-4 victory over Sylvan Hills.
Hunter Holt, Grant Dunbar and Gage Horn each had two hits for Bryant. Horn drove in four runs. Dunbar and Jordan Knox knocked in a pair apiece.
Dunbar started on the mound and pitched two no-hit innings allowing just two walks and pitching around three errors in the second. Lakin Woods worked the third and surrendered a run. Horn retired the side in order to close out the game in the top of the fourth, fanning a pair.
The Sox took a 5-0 lead in the second inning. Horn got the uprising started with a single to left. He stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored wen Reid Catton shot a single up the middle.
Luke Bickerstaff drew a walk and, after pitching change, Mason Butler earned a free pass as well to load the bases for Knox, who plated two with a base hit to right-center.
Bickerstaff, who wound up on third, scored on a wild pitch. A balk allowed Butler to cross the plate.
A dropped pop allowed Clay Crawford to reach base as Knox held at second. But, on a double steal, Knox was picked off trying to get to third. Crawford stole second and as Holt was drawing a walk, a pair of wild pitches allowed Crawford to score the fifth run of the inning.
In the top of the third, Carson Kemp singled to get the blowout inning started. He stole second and, on a base hit by Dunbar, advanced to third. On the throw home to keep Kemp at third, Dunbar hustled to second. That set the table for Horn, who’s single to right center brought both of them home, making it 7-0.
A wild pitch sent Horn to third as Catton drew a walk. He stole second and, after Horn crossed the plate on a wild pitch, Luke Bickerstaff’s RBI single made it 9-0.
The onslaught continued after a pitching change. Bickerstaff stole second and third as Butler worked a walk. Butler stole second and a wild pitch got Bickerstaff home. A balk allowed Butler to cross the plate.
Crawford revved it up again with one out. He walked and, when Holt’s singled to left was misplayed, Crawford scored. Holt wound up at third as the return throw from left was errant. After Tucker Dunn and Kemp walked to fill the bases, Dunbar singled in Holt. Horn was plunked by a pitch to force in Dunn with the ninth run of the inning.
Fort Smith’s run was the product of a walk to Spencer Giles and singles by Eli Freiry and Jetson Wagner. With runners at second and third, Woods fanned Will Goodman then got Trey Vaughn on a comebacker.
Woods then started a final Bryant outburst in the top of the fourth with a single. Knox walked and, after a wild pitch, Crawford singled in a run. Knox scored on a wild pitch to make it 16-1. Walks to Dunn and Kemp loaded the bases again. Dunbar was hit by a pitch to force in a run then Horn walked for his fourth RBI to cap off the rout.