Bryant 12’s battle back to within a win of championship chance

EAGLE PASS, Texas — The Bryant 12-year-old All-Stars (57/70) kept their hopes alive for a[more] trip to the Cal Ripken World Series with a pair of victories on Sunday as they battled through the loser’s bracket at the Southwest Regional Tournament.

Bryant ousted Long Beach, Miss., 10-2, then knocked out Plainview, Texas, 3-0, to advance to the loser’s bracket final at 5 p.m. today. A win there would put them in the championship round in need of two wins to claim the title and the trip.

Team members include Logan Allen, Beaux Bonvillian, Drew Brown, Cameron Coleman, Jake East, Jeffery Hastings, Dylan Hurt, D.J. McKinney, Austin Kelly, Hayden Knowles, Preston Kyzer, Garrett Misenheimer, Aaron Orender, Matthew Sandidge and Scott Schmidt. Manager Darren Hurt is assisted by Rick Brown and Randy Kelly.

Bryant’s depth of pitching has helped. On Sunday, Bonvillian and Kelly combined on 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief of Orender, the starter, who allowed just two runs. In the second game, Misenheimer went the distance on a one-hit shutout, striking out 10 while walking just one.

And Misenheimer was twirling his gem with the game definitely in doubt. Bryant was being blanked by the Plainview pitcher on just one hit — a fourth-inning single by Hurt, until a three-run fifth provided the winning margin.

McKinney started the game-breaking rally with a one-out single. East walked then Allen beat out a bunt for a hit and an RBI. East scored on a balk as Misenheimer drew a walk then Knowles’ shot to third was misplayed allowing Allen to score the third run.

Misenheimer went back to work in the top of the sixth and struck out the first two before getting the final out on a bouncer to first.

In the win over Long Beach, Bryant struck for three in the first and two in the second to establish a 5-1 lead. After Long Beach picked up a second run in the second, Bonvillian and Kelly did the rest as the Bryant Stars gradually pulled away.

Misenheimer capped off the victory with a two-run homer.

To start the first-inning uprising, East singled up the middle and stole second. Allen got a bunt down and beat it out for a hit. With East at third, Allen swiped second then both scored when Misenheimer’s grounder to short was misplayed.

Misenheimer wound up at second on the play then stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hurt.

After Long Beach scratched out a run in the bottom of the inning, Schmidt ripped a double to left to start the two-run second. Hastings singled him to third then Orender picked up the RBI with a groundout to second. East singled to get Hastings to third then Allen got a squeeze bunt down to get him home to make it 5-1.

Long Beach got a base hit to start the bottom of the second but Orender got the next batter to hit a comebacker. He got a force at second but another hit and an error got the second run home.

Bonvillian came on in relief and, after another miscue filled the bases, he ended the threat with a strikeout and an infield pop. He would strike out another batter and pick off a runner to help work out of a jam in the third. He worked a 1-2-3 fourth with two more strikeouts.

Kelly took the mound in the fifth and worked around a lead-off single, a walk and a passed ball, retiring a runner at the plate. He then eased through the sixth, retiring the side in order.

In the meantime, Bryant tacked on three in the fourth. Bonvillian drew a one-out walk, stole second and reached third on a wild pitch as East drew a free pass. With the squeeze on again, Allen got the bunt down and beat it out for a hit as Bonvillian scored. A wild pitch moved runners to second and third with two down for Knowles, who slapped a single to right to chase them home.

Misenheimer’s sixth-inning blast came after Allen reached on an error and stole second. The shot cleared the fence in center.

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