LINCOLN, Ala. — Fighting to stay alive at the 2017 Babe Ruth 13-year-old Southwest Regional Tournament, the Bryant Athletic Association All-Stars eliminated the Baton Rouge, La., All-Stars, 7-3. That put them in the final four of the Regional and another do-or-die game against Mathews Park. Ala., Sunday evening.
In a tense battle, the Alabama team snapped a 1-1 tie with a run in the top of the fifth and made it hold up for a 2-1 win that ended the South Arkansas State champion Bryant All-Stars’ bid for a Regional championship.
That leaves Matthews Park and Long Beach, Miss., in the losers’ bracket final on Monday with Eagle Pass, Texas, which defeated Bryant 7-2 on Saturday, left as the lone unbeaten team and awaiting the survivor in the championship round.
The Bryant team, coached by Jason Greiner, includes Chase Boardman, Chandler Boardman, Brayden Boyce, Gavin Burton, Caleb Greiner, Drew Hatman, Conner Martin, Colby Morrow, Calvin Myles, Kyler Pabon, Cade Parker, J.T. Parker and Hayden Thompson.
Bryant 7, Baton Rouge, La. 3
Bryant only managed three hits but took advantage of five walks, two hit batsmen and a pair of errors to produce the victory, keyed by a five-run fifth that overcame a 3-1 deficit.
After Baton Rouge scored its three runs in the first, Pabon, Greiner, Morrow and Thompson combined to shut out the Louisiana team on three hits over the last six innings.
Burton, Pabon and Morrow had Bryant hits with Burton driving in two runs.
Bryant took a 1-0 lead in the top of the opening inning. Martin walked and stole second. With one out, he advanced to third on Pabon’s grounder to second. Morrow then singled to right to drive him in.
A walk, two singles and an error produced Baton Rouge’s runs in the home half.
Bryant game-turning top of the fifth began with a one-out walk to Greiner. He stole second then swiped third and, with two down, Hatman was struck by a pitch and Myles walked to load the bases. A walk to Martin forced in a run and set the stage for RBI singles by Burton and Pabon to make it 6-3.
Baton Rouge put two aboard in the bottom of the inning but Pabon ended the threat with a strikeout.
Morrow was hit by a pitch to start the top of the sixth. Chase Boardman came in to run with Chandler Boardman in to hit for J.T. Parker. Chase stole second and picked up third on an error. Chandler got a squeeze bunt down that got Chase home.
Baton Rouge threatened in the bottom of the sixth. The inning opened with a single that the hitter tried to stretch it to a double only to have Greiner fire to Myles at second in time for an out.
A single and two walks followed, loading the bases. But Morrow relieved and got a strikeout. Burton, the Bryant catcher, then ended the inning by picking off the runner at first.
Thompson closed it out in the bottom of the seventh with a 1-2-3 inning including two strikeouts.
Mathews Park, Ala., 2, Bryant 1
Mathews Park took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third with three singles. Bryant tied it in the fourth when Burton was hit by a pitch, Pabon sacrificed him to second and, with two down, J.T. Parker singled. Cade Parker’s infield pop was misplayed and Burton scored as J.T. Parker went to third. Cade Parker wound up at second but, when they tried a double steal, J.T. Parker was caught in a rundown and tagged out to end the threat.
The Alabama team used a hit batsman, an error and a pair of passed balls to regain the lead in the top of the fifth.
Bryant’s last nine batters were retired by Mathews Park, which held on to win the contest.
J.T. Parker and Burton each had singles to account for all of Bryant’s hits in the game.
2017 SOUTHWEST REGIONAL BABE RUTH TOURNAMENT
Friday, July 21
Game 1 — Eagle Pass, Texas 5, Brewton, Ala. 3
Game 2 — Bryant, Ark., 12, Madisonville, La., 3
Game 3 — Baton Rouge, La., 7, Matthews Park, Ala. 6
Game 4 — Long Beach, Miss., 10, Lincoln, Ala. 0
Saturday, July 22
Game 5 — Eagle Pass, Texas 7, Bryant, Ark. 2
Game 6 — Long Beach, Miss., 6, Baton Rouge, La., 5
Game 7 — Brewton, Ala., 7, Madisonville, La. 2
Game 8 — Baton Rouge, La., 8, Lincoln, Ala., 2
Sunday, July 23
Game 9 — Mathews Park, Ala., 7, Brewton, Ala. 6
Game 10 — Bryant, Ark., 7, Baton Rouge, La., 3
Game 11 — Eagle Pass, Texas 8, Long Beach, Miss., 3 (winners’ bracket final)
Game 12 — Mathews Park, Ala., 2, Bryant, Ark. 1
Monday, July 24
Game 13 — Mathews Park, Ala., vs. Long Beach, Miss., 6 p.m. (losers’ bracket final)
Game 14 — Eagle Pass, Texas vs. game 13 winner, 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 25
Game 15 — if necessary