JACKSONVILLE — The Bryant 10-year-old All-Stars rallied from a 9-3 deficit after three innings[more] to extract a 10-9 win over Little Rock Junior Deputy at the Cal Ripken 10-and-under State Tournament Saturday. The comeback was capped by a thrilling four-run sixth.
Cameron McDonald, who relieved in the third to end a four-run Junior Deputy outburst, finished the game with three shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk. In the bottom of the sixth, he and the Bryant defense set Little Rock down 1-2-3.
The victory advances the Bryant Stars in the winners bracket. They’re set to take on the Crossett All-Stars at 1:45 p.m., on Sunday.
Bryant’s 10-year-old team, coached by Greg Riggs, is Aiden Adams, Kannon Allison, Tyler Bates, Clay Curtis, River Gregory, Will Hathcote, Cameron McDonald, Trey Miller, Justin Orender, Ryan Riggs, Austin Schroeder, Blaine Sears, Brandon Thomisee and Josh Turner.
The winning rally happened after two were out in the top of the sixth. Trailing 9-6, Orender reached on an error and Gregory came in to run for him. Turner singled to left and Allen came on to run for him. When Riggs reached on an error, the bases were loaded for Schroeder who was hit by a pitch to force in the first run. Hathcote greeted a new Little Rock pitcher with an RBI single to make it 9-8.
With Adams at the plate, Riggs then scored on a passed ball to tie it up. Adams proceeded to knock in the go-ahead run as Bates, running for Hathcote, sprinted to third. Adams tried to follow up to second but was thrown out to end the inning.
McDonald induced three straight infield grounders including a final tap back to the mound to end the game.
Junior Deputy had hit the Bryant Stars with five runs in the first inning. The margin held until Bryant struck for three in the top of the third. Curtis beat out an infield hit and advanced on a passed ball. With one out, McDonald and Orender walked to load the bases for Turner who cleared the bases with a double.
In the bottom of the inning, however, Junior Deputy answered with a four-run uprising to establish the 9-3 lead. Bryant started whittling on the margin immediately. In the top of the fourth, Adams singled and raced to third when the ball was misplayed. He scored on a bouncer to second by Curtis.
McDonald, who came in and gave up a single and got the final out on strikes to end the third, worked around a lead-off single in the fourth. He struck out two more.
In the fifth, Bryant trimmed two more from the margin when Orender singled and, with two down, Schroeder chased him home with a double. Hathcote’s double brought in Schroeder to make it 9-6. Miller reached on an error but Junior Deputy got out of the jam at that point but only for the time being.