The Bryant 12-and-under All-Stars earned a bid to the championship round of the 2018 Little League State Tournament on Sunday by blowing open a 5-5 game with 13 runs in the top of the fourth on the way to an 18-5 thumping of the Cabot All-Stars.
Bryant will get a rematch with White Hall, for the championship on Monday night at Bishop Park. If Bryant can win at 6 p.m., a winner-take-all final will follow. White Hall edged Bryant 5-3 in the winners bracket final.
The winner of the tournament advanced to the Southwest Regional in Waco, Texas.
The Bryant team, managed by Michael Catton with assistance from Paul Speer and Jeff Jackson, includes JT Allen, Garrison Blacklaw, Reid Catton, Clay Crawford, Avery Heidelberg, Luis Hernandez, Gavin Hill, Landon Jackson, EJ Keith, Justen Myles, Braxton Speer, Aiden Stoutand Hudson Thomason.
A walk to Catton got the game-breaking fourth underway. Blacklaw drilled a double then Braxton Speer delivered a two-run single to snap the tie.
Stout’s base hit was complicated for Cabot because of an error and Speer scored. Stout wound up at second and, after Keith singled, Cabot’s starting pitcher, Avie Singleton, got a strikeout for the first out of the inning but had reached his pitch limit and came out in favor of lefty Donovan O’Neal.
He struck Myles with a pitch to load the bases for Crawford, who bounced a single up the middle, driving in two more and making it 10-5.
Crawford stole second and scored behind Myles on a single to right by Allen, who took second on a late throw to the plate. Catton then doubled him home and Blacklaw made it 14-5 with a base hit to left.
He too took second on the throw to the plate then scored when Speer’s grounder to third was misplayed. With Speer at second, Stout shot a single to center to make it 16-5.
Hill and Heidelberg singled in runs to complete the onslaught.
Keith, the third Bryant pitcher, pitched around an error that allowed Logan Smith to reach and closed out the run-rule win.
Bryant had grabbed a 5-0 lead in the first two innings. In the first, Allen reached second on a throwing error. A wild pitch got him to third and Catton’s groundout brought him home.
Blacklaw was struck by the second pitch he saw. He stole second and, when the throw from the catcher wound up in centerfield, he took third. Speer’s groundout got him home to make it 2-0.
Catton started on the bump for Bryant and worked around a walk and a two-out single in the bottom of the first.
Hernandez started Bryant’s second with a free pass then Thomason was drilled by a 1-1 delivery. A passed ball allowed them to scoot up to second and third, but Singleton struck out the next two. Blacklaw came through in the clutch when his single to center brought in both runs to make it 4-0.
On a bad throw into the infield, Blacklaw wound up circling the bases for the fifth run.
Cabot rallied in the bottom of the second. Hayden Watters reached on an error and so did O’Neal. After a pitching change, Carson Cook drilled one to the fence in left-center for a two-run triple.
Cayden Canfield singled him home and the inning continued with walks to Willie May and Singleton. But before the pass to Singleton, Canfield was thrown out trying to steal third by Thomason.
Keith relieved and surrendered a single to Smith to load the bases. May scored when Gavin Langford grounded out to Blacklaw at short. Jarvis McCrey bounced out to Speer at third to end the inning with Bryant clinging to a 5-4 lead.
Singles by Keith and Crawford around a hit batsman (Jackson) had the bags full for Bryant in the third but Singleton escaped further damage.
Cabot tied it in the bottom of the third. O’Neal singled with one out and, with two down, Cayden Riley reached on catcher’s interference. May’s single to left brought O’Neal home.