The Bryant Black Sox 11U team swept all five games at the USSSA State Tournament last weekend, finishing with an 8-0 victory over the Central Arkansas Panthers in the championship game on Sunday.
The team, which is coached by Greg Riggs, includes Blake Brower, Cannon Chalmers, Carson Dozier, Jake Elliott, Gunner Frazier, Cooper Hatman, Aiden Humbard, Austin Hastings, Hunter Markham, Jaxon Riggs, Drew Tate-Lee and Jackson Trusty.
The Sox opened the tournament with a 6-5 win over Benton Elite on Saturday, July 11. They followed up with a 7-2 victory over Titans 11U. Sunday, Bryant edged CB Crew Baseball, 6-5, to reach the semifinals. A 12-7 win over the Arkansas Reds set up the title contest against the Panthers Sunday night.
Bryant 8, Central Arkansas 0
Brower tossed a four-inning three-hit shutout and the Sox took advantage of seven walks with six hits to capture the crown. A four-run second put them on the path to victory.
Markham had two hits and drove in two runs while Elliott knocked in three.
Bryant took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Markham belted a double, tagged and went to third on Riggs’ fly to center and, after Elliott was struck by a pitch and Brower walked, Humbard picked up the RBI with a grounder to short.
The Panthers managed their first hit to lead off the second but, after the runner stole second, he was thrown out trying to swipe third.
Bryant’s big inning started after two were retired. Chalmers drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch then so did Trusty. Markham’s single to left chased in Chalmers to make it 2-0. After Riggs drew a walk, Elliott cracked a double to clear the bases.
Central Arkansas got a pair of runners aboard in the top of the third on an error then a two-out single, but Brower ended the threat with a strikeout.
Humbard singled and Hastings was struck by a pitch to start the bottom of the third. Tate-Lee sacrificed them to second and third and, with two out, Chalmers walked. Humbard tried to steal home on a ball in the dirt but was tagged out to end the inning.
Despite a lead-off single and an error, the Panthers were denied again in the top of the fourth. A liner back to Brower started a doubleplay then a strikeout ended the frame.
In the bottom of the inning, Trusty doubled, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Markham’s sacrifice fly to make it 6-0.
Riggs reignited the inning with a single to right. He stole second and took third on a wild pitch as Elliott was drawing a walk. He scored on Brower’s grounder to first. Humbard walked then a wild pitch allowed Elliott to score the eighth run, ending the game on a run-rule.
Bryant 12, Arkansas Reds 7
Though they fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first, the Black Sox erupted for 12 runs in the bottom of the inning, taking most of the mystery about the outcome away.
Elliott and Tate-Lee each had two hits. Elliott and Hastings had three runs batted in apiece.
Humbard, the third Bryant pitcher, shut down the Reds’ comeback hopes by getting the last four outs.
With Elliott on the mound, the Reds used two doubles on either side of a single to get their two runs in the top of the first.
Bryant’s explosion in the home first started with a single to left by Markham. Riggs beat out an infield hit with Markham hustling to third. Riggs stole second then Elliott ripped a two-run double to center, tying the game.
Walks to Brower and Humbard loaded the bases so when Hastings’ grounder to second was booted, a run scored to put the Sox ahead.
Tate-Lee started the extensive damage with a two-run single to center. An out later, Trusty walked to fill the sacks again. A run scored when Markham’s tapper in front of the plate was kicked by the catcher.
Riggs was struck by a pitch to force in a run then Elliott got aboard on another error. When Brower walked to force in a run, it was 10-2.
Humbard grounded into a force at the plate but Hastings smashed a two-run double before Humbard was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first.
The Sox turned a doubleplay in the top of the second to erase a lead-off single, but the Reds added a run in the top of the third on a single, a double and a groundout.
Four runs on six singles added to the Reds’ score in the top of the fourth before Humbard relieved and got out of the inning. He then set down the Reds in order in the top of the fifth.
Bryant 6, CB Crew 5
Humbard belted a walk-off homer to lead off the bottom of the fifth to make the Sox a winner after the Crew had rallied to tie the game in the top of the fifth.
The bolt came on the second pitch of the inning.
Elliott, who had relieved Tate-Lee in the top of the fifth extinguishing the rally, picked up the win.
Bryant led 5-3 going into the fifth but a two-out, two-run homer for CB Crew had tied the game.
The Crew had taken a 1-0 lead in the first. Bryant scored three times in the bottom of the inning.
Markham singled, Riggs was hit by a pitch and Elliott walked to load the bases. Markham scored on a wild pitch then Brower walked to fill them up again. Humbard was hit by a pitch to make it 2-1 before Hastings greeted a new pitcher with a lined single to right, plating another run.
The Sox, however, left the bases loaded.
CB trimmed a run off that lead in the top of the second, using a pair of singles, a hit batsman and a two-out, two-strike balk to get the run in.
Bryant got that run back in the bottom of the second. After two were out, Riggs was plunked by a pitch and Elliott walked. A free pass to Brower and a walk to Humbard made it 4-2.
The Crew countered with another run in the top of the third but, again, the Sox answered when Dozier cracked a one-out single and Chalmers doubled. Trusty delivered the run with a sacrifice fly.
It stayed that way until the top of the fifth.
Bryant 7, Titans 2
Markham and Humbard each had two hits to back the pitching of a quartet of Bryant hurlers.
The Sox took the lead in the bottom of the second. With two down, Dozier, Chalmers, Trusty and Markham each singled producing two runs.
After Tate-Lee pitched around a two-out singled and a hit batsman in the top of the third, the Sox added on. Riggs was hit by a pitch and Elliott singled. With one out, Humbard doubled to drive both of them home.
A lead-off single and a two-out double got the Titans on the board in the fourth and Humbard took over on the mound.
In the bottom of the inning, Trusty was plunked, stole second and went to third on Markham’s sacrifice. Riggs lined a single to center to bring him home.
Riggs stole second then moved to third when Elliott popped out. A passed ball allowed him to score, making it 6-1.
Humbard pitched around a two-out walk and a single in the top of the fifth with the help of Tate-Lee in right, who threw out the lead runner trying to reach third on the hit.
Humbard singled to open the bottom of the fifth. He stole second and scored on Tate-Lee’s double to left.
The Titans’ rally in the top of the sixth started with a hit batsman and a single. Brower struck out the next two batters but a walk on a 3-2 pitch extended the inning. A single made it 7-2 before Brower recorded the final out on strikes.
Bryant 6, Benton Elite 5
The Sox had to overcome a 5-3 deficit with three runs in the top of the third.
Dozier, Hastings and Elliott pitched in the game. Hastings picked up the win in relief after allowing one unearned run before getting out of a five-run second. Elliott pitched a scoreless fourth to earn a save.
Bryant took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Riggs walked with one out and stole second. Elliott doubled him in.
Dozier pitched around a two-out walk and a single to keep it 1-0 in the bottom of the inning.
With one out in the top of the second, Tate-Lee singled and stole second. Dozier walked then Chalmers’ infield hit made it 2-0.
After pitching change, a passed ball allowed Dozier to score.
After Benton scored its five in the bottom of the second taking advantage of a hit batsman and a walk with a double and two singles plus an outfield error. Hastings got the final out on a comebacker.
Bryant’s game-winning rally started with walks to Elliott, Brower and Humbard. Before the latter pass, Elliott stole home to make it 5-4. The wildness continued with a walk to Hastings to load the bases. Tate-Lee’s grounder to the pitcher resulted in a force at the plate but Dozier tied the game with a single to center. With two out, Hastings stole home to put the Sox ahead to stay.
Hastings pitched around an error and hit batsman in the bottom of the third. He was helped out when the first baserunner was thrown out trying to steal second.
The game was delayed going into the bottom of the fourth as one of the umpires succumbed to the heat.
When play resumed Elliott set down the Elite in order, finishing with a strikeout.