August 23 in Bryant athletic history: 2008

Bryant 13s win Babe Ruth World Series

EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — There was once a crusty old coach who one year had a team with an uncanny knack for coming from behind and winning its games in the last couple of innings. And, while his team would be celebrating, he’d puff up his chest and declare, “Yes, sir. The big dogs walk late.”

Well, he would definitely call the Bryant 13-year-old All-Stars “big dogs.”

Others might just call them the comeback kids.

But everyone can now call them: “National champions.”

Though they trailed in every one, the Bryant Stars won all six of their games at the 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series, including a thrilling 13-12 extra-inning battle with College Point, N.Y., in the finals on Saturday, Aug. 23. They thus became the first of the many Bryant teams that have reached World Series play in recent years to win one. (They may well be the only Arkansas team to ever win a Babe Ruth World Series, as well.)

The champions are Zach Cambron, Evan Castleberry, Hayden Daniel, Josh Davis, Evan Ethridge, Tyler Green, Riley Hall, Blain Jackson, Tyler Nelson, Cameron Price, Daniel Richards, Trent Rivers, Tryce Schalchlin and Marcus Wilson. It’s managed by Jimmy Parker with assistance from Tony Ethridge.

Wilson, who hit .591 (13-of-22) during the Series, was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and joined Daniel on the all-tournament team. Wilson was one of only six players that hit home runs during the tournament. He led all players in total bases (22) and slugging percentage (1.000), was third in batting average, second in runs scored (12), hits and stolen bases (8). Nelson tied for second in runs batted in with 9.

Bryant swept through pool play opening with a 9-8 win over the Western New York champion from North Syracuse on Saturday, Aug. 16, then bouncing the Pacific Northwest champion from Thurston County, Wash., 11-9, the next day. After a day off they defeated New England champion, Greenwich, Conn., 6-5, on Tuesday then clinched the top seed from the National pool with an 11-9 win over the Ohio Valley champion from Youngstown, Ohio, on Wednesday. 

Bryant earned a bye to the semifinals of the single-elimination championship tourney. On Friday, Aug. 22, the team earned its chance at the National title with a  13-8 win over Midwest Plains champion Sikeston, Mo.

Bryant 13,

College Point, N.Y. 12

College Point led 5-2 after an inning of play. Bryant rallied to within 5-4 going into the sixth inning then scored seven times to take what seemed to be a commanding 11-5 lead. But College Point answered with six runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. Bryant regained the lead with a run in the top of the seventh only to have College Point tie it back up in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the eighth, Richards drew a lead-off walk and swiped second to get into scoring position. After Green flew out to right, Schalchlin slapped a base hit to right to drive Richards in.

In the bottom of the inning, Nelson, the fourth Bryant pitcher of the game, also issued a lead-off walk and the next batter hit a lined shot to the right side.  Hall, at first, speared it and beat  the baserunner back to first for an unassisted doubleplay. Though the next batter reached on an error, Wilson chased down a long fly to left and the celebration began.

The thrills of that inning were preceded by a great escape in the bottom of the seventh. A single, a stolen base, another single and a wild pitch allowed the tying run to score.

With the winning run at second, an intentional walk and a single followed, loading the bases with no one out. Nelson, however, got the next batter to tap back to the mound. He threw to the plate for a force. The next batter hit a comebacker to Nelson as well and, again, he threw home for a force and the second out. With a 3-1 count on the next batter, Nelson threw a strike but the runner at third thought it was ball four and was on his way home with the winning run. He was caught in a rundown and Richards tagged him out to send the game into extra innings.

Bryant claimed a 2-0 lead in the first when Wilson singled, Richards walked and Green chased both home with a double.

But College Point scored five times on five hits and an error in the home half. 

Daniel, on in relief of Wilson, and New York pitcher Joseph Morel dueled over the next three innings before Bryant broke through for another pair of runs in the fifth. Wilson was again the instigator, drawing a two-out walk. Richards singled him to second then the duo worked a double steal ahead of another clutch hit from Green that drove in both.

Daniel pitched a 1-2-3 home fifth and the Bryant Stars lit up the scoreboard in the top of the sixth. Price singled to get things started and, after he advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw, he scored on Castleberry’s pinch-hit single. Davis reached on an error as a pinch-hitter and, when Daniel beat out a bunt for a hit, the bases were loaded for Nelson who cracked a two-run single to right to put Bryant ahead.

Nelson stole second and when the throw there was misplayed, Daniel came home to make it 8-5. Wilson followed with a shot to right for a triple and, after a pitching change, Richards singled him home. Price capped things off with an RBI double.

Back came College Point, however, with its six-run rally on six hits and an error.

Bryant regained the advantage in the top of the seventh.  Davis walked and raced all the way to third when a throw from the outfield following Daniel’s fly to center got away. Nelson singled him home.

Bryant 13, Sikeston, Mo. 8

After an inning and a half, Bryant found itself trailing 6-2. And, after it scored six runs in the bottom of the second to take the lead, Sikeston got two in the fourth to tie it. But, again, Bryant surged with four in the bottom of the fourth and an insurance run in the fifth while Cambron and Hall combined to shut down the Missouri team over the final three innings to nail down the semifinal victory.

Errors plagued Bryant early. All six of the runs Sikeston scored in the first two innings off starter Schalchlin were unearned. He allowed just one hit.

But Bryant’s bats were once again equal to the task of making up for those miscues with 13 hits including two each from Daniel, Nelson, Wilson, Cambron and Jackson.

Bryant answered Sikeston’s four-run first with two in the bottom of the inning using  its team speed. Daniel walked, stole second, took third on a grounder to the right side by Nelson and scored on a wild pitch. Wilson singled, swiped second and third then scored when Green’s bouncer to third was booted.

The big second inning was sparked by a one-out single by Jackson. Again, Daniel drew a free pass and when Nelson beat out a bunt for a hit, the bases were juiced for Wilson. On his infield grounder, Sikeston went for a force at second hoping for a doubleplay but an error occurred and all hands were safe with Jackson scoring. Daniel scored on a passed ball to make it 6-4 and, after Richards was hit by a pitch to load the bags again, Green came through with a two-run single to tie the game. Green swiped second and Cambron followed suit with another two-run single to give Bryant an 8-6 lead.

Cambron relieved Schalchlin in the third and preserved the lead until Sikeston put together a two-out rally to tie it in the top of the fourth.

It didn’t stay tied for long. Price’s one-out single got Bryant’s offense revved up again in the bottom of the inning. He stole second and scored on a base hit to left by Schalchlin. With two down, Daniel doubled Schalchlin to third and Nelson belted a double to drive both of them home, making it 11-8. Ethridge came in to run for Nelson and Wilson greeted a new pitcher by ripping an RBI single up the middle.

Cambron worked around a lead-off single in the top of the fifth and, in the bottom of the inning, Bryant tacked on the final run. Cambron walked, Price sacrificed him to second and he scored when Schalchlin reached on an error.

Another lead-off single in the sixth came to nothing for Sikeston and, in the seventh, Hall came on to get the final three outs around a one-out walk, finishing it with a strikeout. 

Bryant 11,

Youngstown, Ohio 9

After erasing an early 7-0 deficit, Bryant used small ball to snap a 9-9 tie then Wilson cracked a long ball for insurance as he and Hall combined to shut out Youngstown over the last two innings to close out the win.

Bryant came to bat with the game tied in the bottom of the fifth and Price reached second on a throwing error. Ethridge sacrificed him to third then Castleberry got a squeeze bunt down to bring him home, making it 10-9.

After Wilson, who relieved in the second, worked around a pair of singles in the top of the sixth, he led off the bottom of the sixth with his solo shot.

Hall relieved in the seventh and hit the first batter he faced but then induced three grounders for force-outs to pick up the save.

Daniel, Wilson and Green each had two hits in the game and Jackson drove in four runs.

Youngstown, which had a chance to win the pool with a win, scored twice in the first and five more times in the second to stake out the 7-0 lead. Bryant whittled five runs off that margin in the bottom of the second. Richards got things started with a double. Singles by Green and Cambron brought him around to score. After Price bounced into a force at third, Rivers walked to load the bases for Jackson who cleared them with a triple into the right-field corner. Daniel’s single to center made it 7-5.

Youngstown added a run to the lead in the top of the third only to have Bryant surge into the lead with four more in the bottom of the inning. Green singled and Cambron walked to set the wheels in motion, and when Price’s base hit was misplayed, Green scored and runners wound up at second and third.

After a pitching change, Rivers worked a walk to load the bases and Jackson picked up another RBI with a sacrifice fly to left. Daniel beat out a bunt for a hit to load the bags again then Nelson hit a bouncer to second. Price scored as Youngstown got the force at second but then so did Rivers on the late relay to first giving Bryant a 9-8 lead.

Neither team scored in the fourth but in the fifth, Youngstown tied it.

Bryant 6,

Greenwich, Conn. 5

After a day off in which the team visited Niagara Falls, it picked up where it left off.

Bryant never led in this one until the top of the seventh inning when, down to the last out, they scored two runs to wipe out a 5-4 deficit. Cambron, who pitched three innings of no-hit relief, then worked around a two-out walk in the bottom of the seventh to end it.

Rivers got the winning rally started with a double down the left-field line. Daniel cracked a single to the gap in left-center to chase him home with the tying run. Nelson belted a double to put the go-ahead run at third then a wild pitch allowed Daniel to score.

Daniel, Nelson and Price each had two hits in the game in which their team had to overcome an early 4-0 deficit. Greenwich scored twice in each of the first two frames. Bryant got on the board in the third when, with two down, Jackson and Daniel drilled back-to-back doubles.

But Greenwich got that run back in the bottom of the inning to make it 5-1. 

A three-run fourth kept Bryant close, however. Wilson and Richards singled and when Cambron’s base hit to right was misplayed, Wilson came home. Likewise, Price’s base hit to right was booted and two more scored to make it 5-4.

Bryant 11,

Thurston County, Wash. 9

After leading early, Bryant found itself behind 7-4 and down to its last three outs only to explode for seven runs in the top of the seventh to take a decisive lead that withstood an answering rally by the Pacific Northwest champion.

The Bryant uprising was fueled by a couple of reckless throws by Thurston County. Green had opened the inning with a single then Castleberry hit a bouncer to second that drew a wild throw allowing Green to head to third and Castleberry to make it to second. And when the ball was misplayed by the third baseman, Green scored. Price kept the inning going with a single then Rivers picked up an RBI with a bouncer to second that resulted in a force out. After Rivers advanced on a wild pitch,  Jackson singled him home to tie the game.

Daniel reached on an error to set up Nelson’s RBI single to left that put Bryant ahead. Wilson’s single up the middle chased home Daniel and, after a pitching change, a passed ball allowed Nelson to cross the plate. Cambron walked to load the bases again and, after another change on the mound, Wilson scored on a bouncer to third by Green to make it 11-7.

In the bottom of the inning, a hit batsman, an error and a walk allowed Thurston to load the bases against Daniel, the third Bryant pitcher. Nelson came on in relief, and a squeeze bunt got a run home in exchange for the first out of the inning. A walk and a wild pitch produced the second run but Nelson put a stop to it there.

Schalchlin started the game for Bryant and, though he struggled with his control, kept Thurston County off the board over the first two frames as his team built a 3-0 lead. The first run came when Wilson blasted a two-out triple to the gap in right-center in the top of the first and scored on the play when the relay was botched.

In the second, Green walked and Price ripped a triple to chase him home. Ethridge’s grounder allowed Price to score.

The triples kept coming in the third when the Washington team picked up its first two runs, keyed by an RBI three-bagger.

Bryant made it 4-2 with a run in the top of the fourth. Cambron who singled to start the inning, advanced to second when Schalchlin was hit by a pitch and, after stealing third, came home when Price grounded into a force.

That lead lasted into the bottom of the fifth when Washington pushed four runs home  on just two hits to take a 6-4 lead. .

A walk, a sacrifice and an error allowed Thurston to score another run in the bottom of the sixth setting up the wild finish.

Wilson had three hits and Price two to lead Bryant’s offense.

Bryant 9,

North Syracuse, N.Y. 8

In a seesaw battle, Bryant overcame a 7-1 deficit and led 8-7 going into the final inning. North Syracuse tied it in the top of the seventh only to have Bryant score in the bottom of the inning to win.

Wilson scored the game-winner after he had singled to left to start the home seventh. Richards sacrificed him to second then, after Green was intentionally walked to set up a force, Cambron hit a grounder on which the New York team tried to turn an inning-ending doubleplay. But an errant throw allowed Wilson to score to end the game.

North Syracuse had tied it in the top of the inning in a similarly frustrating way. A two-out walk seemed innocent enough but when the baserunner stole second, he drew a wild throw that not only got through the Bryant infield but past the center fielder backing up the play allowing the run to score.

Hall, however, after issuing another walk, bore down and got the final out to keep it even.

Bryant had a 1-0 lead after the first inning when Daniel singled and scored on a one-out double by Wilson. But a home run by North Syracuse pitcher Nick Pilotti in the top of the second tied it and, with three runs in the third and three more in the top of the fourth, the New York team built its 7-1 lead.

Bryant whittled a run off the margin in the bottom of the fourth. Wilson scored after he walked, took second on a groundout by Green and raced home on a double to left-center by Cambron.

Daniel, who had relieved Wilson in the fourth, worked a scoreless top of the fifth and Bryant kicked into comeback mode in the bottom of the inning, surging into the lead with six runs on three hits. Walks to Ethridge and Jackson were followed by a single from Daniel that loaded the bases for Nelson whose infield hit got a run in. A base hit by Wilson made it 7-4. Richards was hit by a pitch to force in a run and Green reached on an error that allowed Nelson to score before the first out was finally recorded.

Wilson scored on a passed ball then Rivers got a squeeze bunt down to plate Richards.

Hall relieved in the top of the sixth after a lead-off single. A bunt single put runners at first and second but when North Syracuse attempted a double steal, Jackson threw out the trail runner at second on a heady play. Still, the tying run was at third. But Hall struck out the next batter and got out of the inning on a grounder to Richards at third.

In the bottom of the sixth, Daniel was hit by a pitch with two down but nothing came of it setting the stage for the seventh-inning dramatics.

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