Photos courtesy of Jennifer Daves
It was a pitchers’ duel between Bryant’s Barrett Royal and, eventually, three VanCleave hurlers who kept pitching in and out of trouble and made their team’s two runs in the top of the second inning, hold up for a 2-1 victory that ended Bryant’s bid.
The Bryant team, coached by Ryan Martin with assistance from Chris Chalmers and Jeremy Ray, includes Luke Andrews, Jonathan Carter, Cohen Chalmers, Grant Daves, Kolby Duncan, Dante Hernandez, Colt Martin, Dawson Martin, Mekhi Ray, Barrett Royal, Blake Scoggins and Jake Taylor.
Royal allowed just six hits over six innings, walked no one and struck out three. Each team had one error. Bryant just could not come up with a clutch hit, stranding 11 base-runners. VanCleave was unable to retire Bryant in order the whole game.
VanCleave scored its first run on a single and a triple to start the top of the second. A groundout got the second run home. Another single followed but Royal and the Bryant defense escaped further damage.
In the home second, Chalmers walked and, with one out, Colt Martin singled but two strikeouts ended the inning.
Royal pitched around a lead-off single in the top of the third then walks to Duncan and Daves had Bryant threatening again. With one out, Taylor drew a free pass to load the bases but a strikeout and a fly to center continued their frustration.
VanCleave managed a two-out single in the top of the fourth. For Bryant, Colt Martin singled with one out in the bottom of the inning. He advanced on a wild pitch and a passed ball before, with two away, Andrews came through with a single to center to drive in the run.
After VanCleave was retired 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fifth, Bryant was unable to take advantage of a one-out walk to Taylor.
In the sixth, Royal was hit by a pitch then so was Colt Martin setting the stage for a comeback that never developed. A strikeout, a pop out and fly to center ended the game.