Bryant 10’s answer Benton comeback with final-inning surge to victory at State

MONTICELLO — Preston Kyzer belted a two-run double to key a tie-breaking four-run sixth then Scott Schmidt closed it out on the mound with a scoreless home half of the frame as the Bryant All-Stars knocked off the rival Benton All-Stars Saturday at the 10-year-old Cal Ripken State Tournament.

Bryant returns to action in a winners bracket game on Sunday at 6 p.m., against a team to be determined.

Bryant’s 10-year-old All-Star squad includes Myers Buck, Luke Curtis, Caleb Dorsey, Brooks Ellis, Dylan Johnson, Hunter Hilson, Preston Kyzer, Blake Pennington, Matthew Sandidge, Scott Schmidt, Larry Thompson and Cooper Wright. Bill Kyzer manages the team with assistance from Kirk Schmidt and Chris McKinney.[more]

Benton had rallied for five runs to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth before Kyzer relieved and got out of the inning.

In the top of the sixth, Wright led off with a walk and moved to second on a tap back to the pitcher by Pennington. Sandidge was then hit by a pitch and Schmidt singled to load the bases for Kyzer. On the second pitch, Kyzer drilled a double down the line in left to give Bryant a 7-5 lead.

Johnson beat out an infield hit as Schmidt scored and, after a stolen base, Kyzer came in on Curtis’ bouncer to second, completing the uprising.

It had been all Bryant early. Buck pitched three shutout innings then Thompson worked a scoreless fourth. Benton had baserunners on in each of those innings. In the first a single, a force out and a walk had two on with one out. A double steal put runners at second and third but Buck got the next two out to escape.

In the second, An error, a hit batsman and a bunt single loaded the bases with no one out but Buck kept Benton off the board by inducing a pop to second, a fly to shallow center and a strikeout to get out of the jam.

A walk, a force out, a sacrifice and a passed ball had a runner at third with two down in the third before Buck and Bryant retired the side.

Thompson worked around a one-out infield hit in the fourth.

In the meatime, the Bryant offense produced a 3-0 lead. In the second, Buck pulled a one-out single into left and Hilson belted a double to left-center. Buck scored when Ellis reached on an error then Hilson came home on Dorsey’s groundout.

In the third, Schmidt’s drive to right was misplayed. He advanced on a passed ball, took third on Kyzer’s grounder and scored on a sacrifice fly by Johnson.

Bryant added to its lead in the top of the fifth. Sandidge singled and, an out later, Kyzer beat out a base hit that sent Sandidge to third. Kyzer swiped second then Johnson walked to load the bases for Curtis. His grounder to second produced an errant throw to first and both Sandidge and Kyzer scored to make it 5-0.

Benton broke up the shutout and rallied for the tie in the bottom of the inning. A walk, an error and another walk loaded the bases. Schmidt relieved and was greeted by four consecutive hits then a pair of errors before he could get the third out.

That set up Bryant’s winning burst in the top of the sixth. Benton managed a two-out single in the bottom of the inning but a force at second ended the contest.

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