By Madison McEntire
A team of Bryant 10-year-olds rallied in their final at-bat to win in each of their[more] pool play games in the 10-and-Under Open Division of the 2011 Wally Hall Tournament of Champions at Bryant’s Bishop Park.
The team consists of Logan Catton, Logan Chambers, Logan Grant, Cade Dupree, Nathan McFarland, Coby Greiner, Will McEntire, Ryan Lessenberry, Jake Cowell, Garett Nguyen, Hunter Mullings, Sawyer Holt, and Chandler Taylor.
In the opener, Bryant trailed the Arkansas Vipers 4-1 entering the bottom of the fourth. Taylor led off and struck out swinging but reached first when the ball eluded catcher. Walks to Nguyen and McEntire loaded the bases before Taylor scored when Catton’s grounder forced Nguyen out at third. Grant walked to reload the bases and the Chambers greeted a new Viper hurler with Bryant’s only hit of the game, a sharp single to left field which scored two to tie the game and move Grant to third. McFarland was next and struck out swinging but the ball was dropped by the catcher and the speedy Grant scored as McFarland was retired at first on the catcher’s throw.
In the top of the fifth, Grant struck out two and ended the game with a grounder to second to give Bryant a 5-4 win. Bryant first run had come in the second inning without the benefit of a hit and had given them a short-lived 1-0 lead. McFarland led off with a walk, stole second, moved to third on Dupree’s sac bunt and then scored on a grounder to second by Lessenberry.
Immediately moving over to an adjacent field for their second game, Bryant took on the Central Arkansas Mudcats. After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, Bryant tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning when Grant doubled with one out and came around to score on two wild pitches.
Trailing 3-1 entering the bottom of the fifth, Bryant struck quickly for a run. Chambers tripled to deep left on the first pitch of the inning and then scored when McFarland hit the next pitch to center for a sacrifice fly.
Entering their final at-bat in the bottom of the sixth trailing 3-2, Mullings led off and laced the first pitch to center for a single. After Mullings stole second, Greiner dropped down a bunt and beat the throw to first as Mullings took third. Greiner then stole second and both he and Mullings came in to score when Cowell smashed a hard grounder just inside the third base line to give Bryant a 4-3 win.