Bryant 10’s close out landmark run to Cal Ripken World Series

By Madison McEntire

Photos courtesy of Crissy McEntire

WINCHESTER, Va. — The Bryant 10-year-old All-Stars finished pool play in the 2011 Cal Ripken 10-year-old World Series with[more] two close losses to finish pool play with a record of 0-4. Despite being winless in the tourney, Bryant was very competitive in three of their four games and the team had a fabulous experience while making memories that will last a lifetime.

The team members are Logan Catton, Logan Chambers, Logan Grant, Cade Dupree, Nathan McFarland, Coby Greiner, Will McEntire, Ryan Lessenberry, Hunter Mullings, Ty Jackson, Konnor Clontz, Jacob Shepard, and Brock Bariloa. The manager is Michael Catton and the assistant coaches are Phillip Dupree and Madison McEntire.

Willamette Valley, Ore. 5, Bryant 4

When heavy rains delayed the tournament games on Monday, Aug. 15, Bryant’s 7:30 p.m. game was rescheduled for Tuesday morning, Aug. 16, at 11 a.m. Eastern time. The change also prevented the team from taking a tour of the U.S. Capital planned for that afternoon in Washington, D.C.

Bryant batted first. Catton grounded to short and then Lessenberry lined a single to left field. Chambers flied out to center for the second out. Grant then grounded hard to the shortstop, who fumbled the ball but recovered in time to nip Grant at first to end the inning.

Grant was the starting pitcher for Bryant and quickly retired the first two batters with a swinging strikeout and a grounder to Greiner at second. A long double to right by Willamette Valley’s three-hole hitter put a runner in scoring position. The next batter grounded hard in the hole where Chambers dove and prevented the ball from going into left field, saving a run as the runner had to stop at third. Grant then got out of the jam with a fielder’s choice to Greiner at second to end the inning.

In the second, Dupree led off and grounded back to the pitcher. McFarland flied to center for the second out. With two outs and nobody on, Bryant pushed a run across without the benefit of a hit. Bariola hit a routine grounder to shortstop but was safe when the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag. Jackson walked to put two on and then Shepard reached on an error by the shortstop to load the bases. Catton drew a walk to bring in Bariola. Lessenberry popped to first to end the inning but Bryant led 1-0.

In its half of the inning, Willamette Valley got a leadoff single, but the following batter grounded to McFarland at first with the runner moving up to second. Another grounder to McFarland for the second out moved the runner to third, where he was left stranded when Grant ended the inning with a swinging strikeout.

Bryant upped the lead to 2-0 in the top of the third. Chambers led off with a shot to the left field corner that one-hopped the fence for a double. Grant struck out and then Dupree walked. A wild pitch moved the runners up and then McFarland hit a fly to center field. Chambers tagged up and beat a close play at the plate as Dupree moved to third. Bariola popped to second to end the inning.

Grant kept Willamette Valley off the board in the bottom of the third. He collected two quick outs with a liner to McFarland at first and a strikeout. Willamette Valley’s three-hole hitter then fisted a good pitch to center for a single but a grounder to the shortstop ended the inning.

Bryant threatened to take control of the game in the top of the fourth but two controversial calls by the umpires helped keep them off the board. Jackson led off and was hit by a pitch. Greiner was next and popped a bunt out about five feet in front of the plate, where it spun back toward the plate. The Willamette Valley catcher pounced on the ball just in front of the plate and fired to first but Greiner beat the throw easily. However, the first base umpire made no call. When the Willamette Valley asked for a ruling, the umpires huddled and the home plate umpire called Greiner out. According to Coach Dupree, who was in the first base coaching box, the first base umpire had assumed the ball had rolled foul and quit watching the play.

So Bryant had Jackson at second with one out. With Catton at the plate, a wild pitch moved Jackson to third. Four pitches later, Catton swung and missed for strike three but the ball went of the catcher and rolled to the backstop allowing Jackson to score from third. Although the home plate umpire had clearly signaled “safe”, meaning that Catton did not foul off the pitch, Willamette Valley asked him to confirm with the field umpires. After a huddle, they changed the ruling to a foul tip and put Jackson back on third and Catton back in the batter’s box. Catton was then called out looking at strike three and Lessenberry popped out to second to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Willamette Valley started the inning with a single on a liner to center that just eluded Catton’s diving attempt. The next batter grounded back to Grant and Bryant turned a 1-6-3 double play for two quick outs. An error by Greiner at second allowed the next batter to reach but Chambers hauled in a pop at shortstop to end the inning.

Chambers and Grant each hit a fly to left field for two easy outs in the top of the fifth. Dupree then reached on an infield single to the second baseman before McFarland struck out to send the game to the bottom of the fifth.

Willamette Valley batted around and scored five runs in the top of the fifth as two more questionable calls went against Bryant. Willamette Valley used a pinch-hitter in the nine-hole who grounded up the middle where Greiner made a nice back-handed stop and threw him out from his knees. The next batter grounded into the hole on the left side where Chambers gloved the ball and fired from his knees. His throw appeared to nip the runner but the umpire ruled “safe”. The next batter lined a hard single to right. Bariola momentary fumbled the ball but recovered and fired to second and seemed to get a force out, but the umpire again ruled against Bryant and there were runners on first and second with one out.

Willamette Valley’s three-hole hitter then capped hit 3-for-3 day with a single to right that scored the runner from second and moved the trail runner to third. The next batter lined sharply right at Catton in center for the second out and the runners were forced to hold their bases. On a 0-2 pitch, Grant allowed a double on a long fly to center that tied the game and put runners on second and third. The next batter grounded a single to right to plate another run and then a double to center made it 5-2 in favor of Willamette Valley. McEntire came in to take over for Grant and recorded a swinging strikeout to end the inning.

Down to its last at-bat, Bryant staged a rally. Bariola led off with a swinging bunt that went for an infield single. Mullings pinch hit for Jackson. After Bariola moved up to second on a throwing error by the catcher, Mullings struck out for the first out. Shepard hit for Greiner and doubled on a fly to center field, scoring Bariola. Catton walked to put two on and then Lessenberry lined a single to left to load the bases. Chambers grounded out to the second baseman but Shepard scored on the play, Catton moved to third and Lessenberry went to second. Grant re-entered the game to hit for McEntire. With a 2-1 count, Grant took a pitch near his chin only to hear the umpire call it a strike and then struck out swinging on the next pitch to end the game.

Mineral Area, Mo. 11, Bryant 8

Bryant’s final pool play game was on Wednesday, Aug. 17. Despite already being eliminated from advancing to bracket play, Bryant hoped to end the season on a winning note.

McEntire started on the mound and allowed the first two batters to reach on ground ball singles to left field. The three-hole batter then doubled in the right-center gap to make it 1-0. After getting a strikeout, McEntire allowed single on a soft fly to right that plated two. A grounder to short and a swinging strikeout ended the top of the first but Mineral Area had a quick 3-0 lead.

Bryant immediately tied the game in its first at-bat. Bariola led off with a walk. After Shepard flied out to center, Chambers lined a shot to the fence in left that landed just inside the line for a double. Bariola scored on the play and Chambers moved to third on the throw to the plate. Grant was safe at first on an error by the second baseman and Chambers scored. Grant moved to second on a wild pitch and then advanced to third when McEntire grounded to second. McFarland then punched an 0-2 pitch through the left side of the infield for a single that scored Grant to tie the game 3-3. Mullings popped to first to end the inning.

Mineral Area retook the lead in its second at-bat. The eight-hole hitter lined hard to Grant at second for an out and the next batter walked on a 3-2 pitch. Mineral Area’s leadoff batter singled on a grounder back up the middle to put two runners on. The next batter grounded to Grenier who fired to Chambers at second for a force out. The batter beat Chambers’ relay to first for the double play and the runner on second, who had never slowed down, beat McFarland’s throw to the plate sliding in safely to break the tie. McEntire then got a fly to Shepard in right to end the inning but Bryant trailed 4-3.

In Bryant’s second at-bat, Jackson led off with a walk. Clontz flied to left for the first out. Bariola doubled into the gap in right to put two runners in scoring position but Shepard flied out to center and Chambers struck out to end the threat.

In the top of the third, Mineral Area sent all nine batters to the plate and scored four times. Mineral Area’s cleanup hitter lined McEntire’s second pitch off the top of the fence in right-center, just missing a home run and settling for a long single. After he moved up on a wild pitch, a walk put two on. A grounder up the middle scored a run and put runners on the corners. After the trail runner stole second, the Mineral Area batter reached across the plate and flipped McEntire’s 0-2 pitch softly into right field for a two-run single and took second on the throw to the plate.

Chambers replaced McEntire on the mound. Lessenberry took over behind the plate for Jackson and Catton entered the game in place of Clontz. Chambers recorded the first out of the inning on a grounder to second with the runner advancing to third. The next batter grounded to Grant at short for the second out. Mineral Area’s leadoff batter was up next and grounded a single to left to score the runner from third making the score 8-3. A single on a soft fly to right put two on but Chambers escaped further damage by getting a ground out to second.

Grant led off Bryant’s half of the third and was plunked by a pitch. Dupree’s ground out to third moved him into scoring position but he was left there when McFarland fanned and Mullings grounded out to second.

Mineral Area’s cleanup hitter led off the fourth and smashed Chambers’ second pitch over the fence in right-center for a home run. A grounder to Grant at short accounted for the first out of the inning but then a high chopper back up the middle went over Chambers’ head for an infield single. After the runner stole second base, a ground out to Dupree moved the runner to third but then a grounder to McFarland at first ended the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Lessenberry grounded out to third but then Catton grounded a single to left. Bariola’s ground out to the first baseman moved Catton to second but Shepard fouled out to the first baseman to end the inning.

The first batter in the top of the fifth grounded a hard single back up the middle that struck Chambers on the left knee. The medical staff came out to tend to the injury and Greiner entered the game to pitch after Chambers was helped off the field. Mineral Area’s leadoff batter then completed his perfect day at the plate when he singled to left for his fourth hit. A grounder up the middle loaded the bases. The next batter grounded back to the mound and the ball went off Greiner’s glove to Grant at shortstop. He fired to first for the out. The runner on third scored. The runner coming from second rounded third and was caught in a rundown and eventually was tagged out at the plate by McFarland for the second out as the runner from first moved all the way to third. Mineral Area’s cleanup hitter lined an 0-2 pitch to right to make the score 11-3 before Greiner got a grounder to third to end the inning.

Bryant staged a rally in the bottom of the fifth and plated five runs. Greiner led off and reach when the first baseman mishandled his ground ball. On a full-count pitch, Grant hit a grounder to third and also reached on an error. With Dupree at the plate, a passed ball moved up both runners and then a wild pitch scored Greiner and put Grant on third. After Dupree struck out, McFarland walked on a 3-2 pitch. Mullings lined a single to right that brought home Grant and moved McFarland up to second base. Lessenberry then grounded into a 4-6 fielder’s choice that moved McFarland to third. After a wild pitch moved Lessenberry up to second, Catton slapped a single to score McFarland and move Lessenberry to third. Bariola then ripped a double into the gap in right to score both runners, with Catton crossing the plate just before Bariola was thrown out at third trying for a triple. Bryant’s rally had cut the lead to 11-8.

In the sixth, Greiner kept Mineral Area off the scoreboard for the first time as he had a 1-2-3 inning with a grounder to third sandwiched between two strikeouts.

Shepard led off Bryant’s final at-bat with a bloop single over the third baseman. Greiner grounded out to first which moved Shepard to second. Grant flied to center and then Dupree ended the game with a ground ball to the second baseman.

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