MONTICELLO — As 9-year-olds last summer, the Bryant All-Stars won 13 games in a row before suffering a 4-0 loss to Orange Grove, Miss., in the semifinals of the Cal Ripken League Southwest Regional Tournament at Gulfport, Miss.
In sweeping through the District Tournament this year as 10-year-olds, the Stars got another winning streak going that carried them into Monday night’s winners bracket final at the State Tournament. That included a 17-1 romp in four innings over McGehee on Sunday.
But Monday ended that winning streak as the Little Rock Junior Deputy All-Stars surprised Bryant, 3-0.
They hope to start a new win streak that lasts just as long or longer when they take on Benton in the losers bracket final. A win would forge a rematch with Little Rock on Tuesday. An “if” game would be Wednesday.
Bryant’s 10-year-old All-Star squad includes Myers Buck, Luke Curtis, Caleb Dorsey, Brooks Ellis, Dylan Johnson, Hunter Hilson, Preston Kyzer, Blake Pennington, Matthew Sandidge, Scott Schmidt, Larry Thompson and Cooper Wright. Bill Kyzer manages the team with assistance from Kirk Schmidt and Chris McKinney.[more]
Junior Deputy 3, Bryant 0
The game was scoreless until the third inning when Junior Deputy took advantage of a walk and a pair of errors with a two-run single to take the lead.
Bryant didn’t manage to get a runner aboard the bases until, with one out in the bottom of the third, Hilson reached on an error. Sandidge then cracked the team’s only hit, a single up the middle. A passed ball moved the duo to second and third as Schmidt drew a walk to load the bases.
But Kyzer’s grounder to third resulted in a force that ended the threat.
Johnson, the Bryant starter on the mound, worked around a two-out error in the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the frame, he reached base on an error, advanced to second on a wild pitch and, with one down, got to third on a groundout by Ellis. But that’s as far as he got as Buck skied to right.
Little Rock tacked on a run in the top of the fifth on a walk and a two-out, two-strike double to make it 3-0.
And Bryant could only get one more base-runner in the game. Sandidge worked a two-out walk in the bottom of the fifth but Little Rock then retired the last four in a row.
Johnson allowed just four hits with three walks. He fanned three.
Bryant 17, McGehee 1
Bryant scored eight times in the first and seven more times in the second to make quick work of the McGehee stars.
Kyzer, Johnson and Curtis all got in work on the mound. Curtis pitching the final 2 2/3 innings, working out of jams in the second and third, to earn the win. McGehee mustered just two hits.
The eight-run first began with Schmidt reaching second on an outfield error. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Ellis singled.
Ellis stole second and, after Kyzer was hit by a pitch, a pair of passed balls allowed Ellis to score. Kyzer was on third when Johnson drew a walk and stole second.
With one out, Thompson pulled a single to left to drive in Kyzer. He stole second and, with two down, Dorsey drove one to center that was misplayed allowing both runners to score.
Dorsey swiped second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Pennington’s single to right. Schmidt followed with a drive to center that was misplayed. Pennington scored all the way from first and Schmidt wound up at third. He scored when Ellis reached on an error, making it 8-0.
In the second, Johnson reached on an error but was forced at second on Buck’s grounder to third. Thompson got two bags on another error and, with two down, Dorsey singled in Buck. Pennington smacked a double down the left-field line for an RBI double that sent Dorsey to third.
After Schmidt walked to load the bases, a passed ball allowed Dorsey to score then Ellis reached on an error that got Pennington in.
After a change of pitchers, Kyzer was hit by a pitch. A passed ball got Schmidt home then Johnson capped the inning with a two-run single, making it 15-0.
McGehee’s lone run scored in the bottom of the second. A lead-off walk and a pair of passed balls had a runner at third. With one out, another walk set up a first-and-third situation which McGehee took advantage of with a double steal. Another walk brought Curtis to the mound in reliefe and he retired the next two batters to get out of the inning, finishing with a strikeout.
In the third, McGehee loaded the bases on a single, a double and a walk but, again, Curtis stranded them with a strikeout.
Bryant put the finishing touches on the lopsided victory with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Pennington led off with a single and advanced on a passed ball. But, with one out, he was thrown out trying to steal third.
Ellis got things going again with a single and a stolen base. A wild pitch allowed him to reach third and he scored moments later on a base hit by Hilson. A wild pitch sent Hilson to second then Curtis doubled him home.
In the bottom of the fourth, a batter was hit by a pitch with one down but he was thrown out trying to steal second and, for the third time, Curtis ended an inning with a strikeout. This time, it ended the game.