MAGNOLIA — Gavyn Benson and Eli Berry combined on a six-hit shutout to make two early runs hold up as the Bryant Athletic Association All-Stars earned their third win in the 10-and-under State Tournament on Sunday.
Benson pitched four innings and allowed four hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Berry relieved in the fifth and allowed just two hits over the last two frames. They were backed by solid defense to hold off Sylvan Hills.
The team, coached by C.J. Brown, includes J.T. Allen, Benson, Berry, Carter Brown, Avery Heidelberg, Preston Howlett, Landon Jackson, E.J. Keith, Braxton Speer, Aiden Stout, Hudson Thomason and Marcus Wimberly.
Benson worked around a one-out single in the bottom of the first setting up Bryant’s first score in the top of the second. With one out, Heidelberg beat out an infield hit. He advanced to second when Brown grounded out. Stout walked then a passed ball moved Heidelberg to third. He scored on Allen’s line-drive single to right.
Sylvan Hills loaded the bases in the bottom of the second but Benson got a strikeout, a liner to Jackson at second and a groundout to Brown at short to escape the jam.
Jackson opened the third inning with a triple to right. He scored on Speer’s groundout to make it 2-0.
Sylvan Hills was retired in order in the bottom of the third but, in the fourth, a pair of singles and a walk had the bags full with two away. Benson induced a groundball to Brown at short to end the inning.
Despite a one-out double by Allen, Bryant was unable to tack on in the top of the fifth. In turn, a two-out error gave Sylvan Hills some hope in the home half. A single followed and a wild pitch sent the runners to second and third. But Berry got the final out on a grounder to Jackson at second.
Speer reached on an error and Keith was struck by a pitch in the top of the sixth but Sylvan Hills got out of the jam. A singled opened the bottom of the sixth but Sylvan Hills’ last chance ended when the next three batters were retired.