Photos courtesy of Paul Dotson
The team, coached by Ryan Martin, includes Luke Andrews, Jonathan Carter, Cohen Chalmers, Grant Daves, Kolby Duncan, Dante Hernandez, Colt Martin, Dawson Martin, Mekhi Ray, Barret Royal, Blake Scoggins and Jake Taylor.
The Sox opened the tourney on Friday with a 5-4 win over the Pine Bluff North All-Stars. On Saturday, they outlasted the Benton Panthers All-Stars, 11-8, then awaited the survivor of the loser’s bracket on Sunday. Benton won their way back to the championship round, but Bryant prevailed 11-5 to earn the title.
Bryant 11, Benton 5
In the championship game, Bryant erupted for seven runs in the third inning to turn a 4-1 lead into a lopsided advantage.
Taylor pitched four innings, allowing four runs on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Duncan took over in the fifth and closed out the game allowing a run on one hit and a walk, while fanning four in the last two innings.
Offensively, the Sox had six hits to take advantage of seven walks and five Benton errors. Royal knocked in two runs.
Bryant took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Daves walked and took second on a wild pitch. With one out, Taylor drew a free pass. Both moved up a base on Scoggins’ grounder then Daves scored on a passed ball as Chalmers was working a walk.
Benton tied it in the top of the second on a walk, a hit batsman, a single and a passed ball. Taylor and his defense retired the next three batters to keep it 1-1.
Colt Martin led off the bottom of the second with a free pass then Carter’s grounder to short was misplayed and Martin score d all the way from first. Carter wound up at second. Duncan sacrificed him to third and, after Daves walked, a passed ball made it 3-1.
An errant pickoff allowed Daves to reach third. He scored on a wild pitch.
Taylor retired Benton in order in the top of the third, striking out two.
The Sox’ big inning started with Taylor getting plunked by a 1-2 pitch. Scoggins drilled a double then, with one out, Royal smacked a two-bagger to plate both runners. Colt Martin’s single drove home Royal to make it 7-1.
With two away, Dawson Martin walked, and Duncan lashed an RBI double. A passed ball got a run in as Daves walked again. Duncan scored on a passed ball then, when Andrews’ grounder to third was kicked, Daves scored to make it 11-1.
Benton trimmed three off the margin in the top of the fourth, but Taylor ended the inning with a strikeout, forcing a runner to be stranded at third. Another came in as the top of the fifth unfolded before Duncan and the Sox closed out the victory.
Bryant 11, Benton 8
On Saturday, Benton scored six runs in the bottom of the second to gain the upper hand, but Bryant tied it in the top of the third then, trailing 7-6, erupted for four runs in the fifth that Benton could not match.
Scoggins went 3 for 3 with four runs batted in to lead the Sox who had six hits in all, taking advantage of 11 Benton walks and a trio of errors.
Bryant took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on walks to Daves and Andrews then a one-out triple by Scoggins. He scored the third run on Chalmers’ grounder to second.
Chalmers then eased through the bottom of the first but, in the second, Benton scored six times on just one hit, a two-run single with two outs.
The tying uprising in the top of the third began with a walk to Daves. Though he was forced at second on Andrews’ grounder to short, Andrews got to second on a passed ball as Taylor was earning a walk. A passed ball moved the runners to second and third.
Scoggins followed with a fly ball that fell in, in front of the center fielder. Andrews scored but Taylor was thrown out at the plate. Scoggins hustled to second on the play and, after a wild pitch got him to third as Chalmers walked, an errant pickoff throw by the catcher allowed Scoggins to score.
Benton snapped the tie with a run in the bottom of the fourth.
Bryant’s four-run fifth started with walks to Andrews and Taylor. Scoggins singled in a run, but Taylor was thrown out trying to score on Chalmers’ grounder to third. With Scoggins at third, Royal singled to put the Sox on top, 8-7.
After Colt Martin reached on an error, Carter walked, forcing in a run. A grounder to the pitcher resulted in a force out at the plate but, with the bases loaded, Duncan waited out a four-pitch walk to force in a run, making it 10-7.
Benton whittled a run off the margin in the bottom of the fifth but stranded runners at second and third as Royal wriggled out of the jam.
An error opened Benton’s sixth but on a grounder to Duncan at short, Bryant turned a doubleplay. A liner to Duncan at short ended the contest.
Bryant 5, Pine Bluff 4
The Sox built a 5-0 lead before Pine Bluff rallied in the bottom of the fifth to score four times. Pine Bluff had the potential tying run and go-ahead run on base when the final out, on a grounder to Duncan at short, came about.
Bryant managed just three hits including two by Royal, the other by Colt Martin.
Pine Bluff fared little better, finishing with three hits as well, all singled as Taylor, Duncan, Colt Martin and Dawson Martin each got some work on the mound in the contest.
The Sox took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Daves walked, took second on a passed ball and third when Andrews grounded out. With two down, another passed ball allowed the run to score.
Despite a trio of walks in the bottom of the inning, Taylor retired the side with the lead in hand.
Royal’s one-out single in the top of the second led to a second Bryant run. Colt Martin drew a walk, and, after a wild pitch, a passed ball got Royal home to make it 2-0.
It was 3-0 after the top of the fourth. With two down, Chalmers drew a walk, took second on a wild pitch, third on a passed ball then scored on Royal’s single to right.
Colt Martin’s base hit resulted in a misconnection on the throw back to the infield and the runners moved to second and third. When Carter’s pop to second was dropped, Royal crossed the plate. Colt Martin came in on a passed ball to make it 5-0.
Pine Bluff’s ill-fated rally in the bottom of the fifth began with a hit batsman and a pair of walks. An error allowed a run to score and, later, a pair of RBI singles cut the margin to 5-4.