LITTLE ROCK — The frustrations of the Bryant 11-year-old All-Stars against their rivals from Benton continued on Sunday in State Tournament play.
In the fourth meeting between the two teams this post-season, Benton took advantage of a trio of Bryant errors in the bottom of the sixth to snap a 4-4 tie, producing a 5-4 victory, in a game delayed by rain.
Bryant was set to return to action in a losers bracket game Monday at 6 p.m., against a team to be determined.
The Bryant 11’s include Landon Abernathy, Logan Allen, Drew Brown, Jake East, Jeffery Hastings, Dylan Hurt, Austin Kelley, Hayden Knowles, Garrett Misenheimer, Aaron Orender, Landon Smith and Diego Vargas. Jerry East is the manager with assistance from Rick Brown and Rusty Misenheimer.[more]
Bryant had defeated Benton, 7-5, in the winners bracket final of District Tournament play but Benton came back to win twice in the championship round to take the title. Both teams had advanced in the winners bracket at State before Sunday’s rematch.
The game was scoreless through three innings. Misenheimer limited Benton to just two hits to that point but Benton’s pitcher Riggan had faced the minimum without allowing a hit. Allen had walked in the first but was doubled off when Hurt lined to third.
In the top of the fourth, however, the Bryant Stars broke through. East reached on an error and took second on a passed ball. Allen got a sacrifice bunt down to get East to third. With two down, Misenheimer unloaded on a 1-0 delivery for a long home run to deep center, making it 2-0.
Benton struck back with two of its own in the bottom of the inning on a single, a passed ball and a two-out hit. And when a drive to right was misplayed, the second run scored.
Bryant bounced back in the top of the fifth to grab a 4-2 lead. Morales walked and Abernathy, running for him, stole second. Smith walked then Brown slapped a single to right to bring Abernathy home. With Vargas running for Brown, East ripped a double to get Smith home. Allen walked to load the bases but Benton got out of the inning before further damage could be done.
Solo homers by Riggan and Cooper tied it in the bottom of the inning, however.
In the top of the sixth, Misenheimer drew a lead-off walk and, an out later, Kelly reached on an error but Bryant was denied the plate.
A one-out error got a runner aboard in the bottom of the inning. A second infield error was followed by a third as the winning run scored.