BENTON — The Bryant 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars outslugged their rivals from Benton to capture the[more] District Tournament championship on Sunday, July 1, at Bernard Holland Park.
Bryant went unbeaten in the tournament opening with a 16-0 win over the Spa City All-Stars on Saturday, June 30, and following that up later in the day with a 21-0 thumping of the Clark County All-Stars.
On Sunday, Bryant eliminated Clark County, 13-2, to set up the showdown in the championship round with Benton.
They advance to the South Arkansas State championship game at El Dorado starting this Friday, July 13.
The Bryant 13-year-old team is managed by Jerry East with assistance from Rick Brown and Randy Kelly. The team includes Logan Allen, Drew Brown, Cameron Coleman, Jake East, Jeffery Hastings, Dylan Hurt, Austin Kelly, Hayden Knowles, Garrett Misenheimer, Aaron Orender, Kyle Sahr, Alex Shurtleff, Diego Vargas.
Bryant 13, Benton 7
Benton jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first but Bryant answered with four in the home half then tied it in the second. A three-run third put Bryant in the lead for good. Benton rallied for two runs in the top of the fourth but a five-run burst in the bottom of the inning sealed the win.
The first-inning uprising started with walks to East and Hurt. Shurtleff singled up the middle and Misenheimer cracked a base hit to right to make it 2-0. After Misenheimer swiped second, Kelly ripped a double to right to chase home two.
After battling through the rugged first inning, East, Bryant’s starting pitcher, worked around a single and an error in the second. That kept it 5-4 so he could help tie it in the bottom of the inning.
A lead-off triple by Colemen and East’s single produced that tying tally.
Misenheimer took over on the mound for Bryant and, after a lead-off single, retired the side in order.
The game-breaking home third was ignited by consecutive singles from Kelly and Hastings. Kelly scored on a passed ball and Hastings wound up on third after a wild pitch. Orender walked and stole second before walks to Allen and East made it 8-5. Hurt beat out an infield hit then Shurtleff skied one to center. Allen tagged and tried to score but was tagged out on the throw for the outfield to send it to the fourth.
Buoyed by that, Benton rallied for two runs. The inning ended with the potential tying and lead runs on base.
Walks to Misenheimer and Kelly starter the game-clinching home fourth. Hastings reached on an error, Orender singled and Allen picked up an RBI with a groundout.
Coleman was hit by a pitch then East beat out an infield hit. Walks to Hurt and Shurtleff forced in the clinching runs.
Bryant 13, Clark County 2
A four-run first got the Bryant Stars on their way to the semifinal win. Kelly went the distance on the mound and scattered seven hits over five innings. Only one of the two runs was earned.
East, Hurt, Shurtleff, and Misenheimer contributed two hits apiece. All four hit safely in Bryant’s four-run first. East doubled and advanced on a passed ball. Hurt singled him in. With Shurtleff at the plate, Hurt stole his way to third then came in on his teammate’s double. Misenheimer then single in Shurtleff to make it 3-0.
Misenheimer stole second ad, with two out, came in to score when Orender reached on an error.
Clark County managed a run in the second but Bryant answered with three more. Coleman walked to lead off the inning. Though he was forced at second on a grounder to short, East stole second and third after reaching on that fielder’s choice. Hurt drew a walk and swiped second then, with two down, Misenheimer plugged the gap in right-center for a double. He scored on the very next pitch to Kelly who lashed a single to center.
An unearned run for Clark County made it 7-2 going into the bottom of the third. Bryant proceeded to push in three more and the rout was on. Allen drew a one-out walk, was balked to second then stole third. East singled him in. After East swiped second, Hurt belted a double to left-center to make it 9-2. Shurtleff then singled in the 10th run.
Kelly worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth with the help of an inning-ending doubleplay then the Stars made it a run-rule win with three more in the home half of the inning. Sahr singled, Allen was plunked and Brown reached on an error to load the bags for East. His grounder to short was booted as a run scored. Another came in when Hurt walked then Shurtleff’s sacrifice fly set the final score.
Bryant 21, Clark County 0
East and Misenheimer each tossed two innings of shutout ball in a four-inning no-hitter. Clark County managed just three base-runners, all on walks, one in the second and two in the third.
After taking a 5-0 lead in the first, Bryant scored eight times in the second to start the blowout. Eight more over the last two innings put them over the 20-run mark.
In the opening inning, East singled and stole his way to third. Hurt was hit by a pitch and Shurtleff singled in the first run. With one out, Kelly smacked an RBI single and stole second. Hastings walked and Orender drove in a run with a base hit.
A double steal put runners at second and third for Allen whose grounder to second allowed Hastings to score, making it 5-0.
East started the second inning with a hit as well. Again, he swiped second and third. Hurt, who had walked, stole second, setting the table for Shurtleff again. He singled to plate a run then Misenheimer picked up an RBI by bouncing into a force at second.
Singles by Kelly and Orender kept the wheels turning. Allen walked and Coleman looped a single to center to bring East back up. He doubled and, after Hurt singled him to third, came home on a balk to finish off the frame.
The blitz continued in the third. Misenheimer doubled and moved up on a passed ball. Sahr got him home with a sacrifice fly. Hastings walked to keep the inning going and, after he stole second, consecutive singles by Orender, Allen and Coleman made it 16-0.
The crowning salvo in the fourth commenced with a walk to Brown. Misenheimer was hit by a pitch then a wild pitch moved them up a base. Sahr and Hastings cracked singles then Orender smacked a double. Allen singled then a walk to Coleman loaded the bases. Vargas walked to force in the final run.
Bryant 16, Spa City 0
Hurt, Orender and Kelly combined on a three-hit shutout and the Bryant Stars opened the game with a nine-run outburst.
East shot the third pitch of the game down the right-field line for a triple. A one-out single by Shurtleff plated the first run. Misenheimer belted a double then walks to Kelly and Hastings preceded back-to-back doubles from Orender and Allen that made it 6-0.
Coleman was hit by a pitch and East singled in a run. Hurt walked then Shurtleff launched a sacrifice fly to center to complete the blitz.
A one-out walk to Hastings started the three-run second. Orender reached on an error then both scored when Allen laced a liner to the fence in right for a triple. He would score on an infield hit by Coleman.
It stayed 12-0 until the top of the fifth when Bryant put the finishing touches on their first District win. Misenheimer singled and stole his way to third then, with one out, walks to Brown and Orender were followed by an error on a ball hit to short by Orender. Sahr singled in two to set the final score.