Bryant 14’s edged by host team in pool play opener at World Series

Photo courtesy of Brad MillerLOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. — The host team at the Babe Ruth 14-year-old World Series snapped a 1-1 tie with three runs in the top of the sixth inning and the Bryant All-Stars couldn’t quite overcome it. Loudoun County, Va., held on for a 4-2 win in the first round of pool play on Saturday, Aug. 21.

Bryant trimmed a run off the lead in the bottom of the sixth and had the bases loaded when the final out of the inning was recorded. The Bryant Stars then went down in order in the seventh.

The Bryant 14’s include Wesley Akers, Harrison Dale, Justin Emmerling, Zach Graddy, Ashton Green, Tristan Matthews, Austin Miller, Christopher Phillips, Nate Rutherford, Korey Thompson, Chris Troillett, Chase Tucker and Blake Yates. Jason Thompson manages the team with assistance from Mark Akers.[more]

Photo courtesy of Brad Miller

Green was the hard-luck loser on the mound for Bryant, going the distance. He held the Virginia team to just one hit over the first four innings. Loudoun County then came up with four of its seven hits in the game-turning sixth. Green finished with six strikeouts, one walk and two hit batsmen.

But Bryant, too, was shutout on just one hit through four.

In the fifth, Loudoun County broke the ice on the scoring with a single, a stolen base and an errant throw.

In the bottom of the inning, Bryant tied it. Matthews drew a lead-off walk and Tucker sacrificed him to second. Rutherford reached on an error as Matthews took third then Thompson, who was named Bryant Player of the Game, got down a squeeze bunt to tie it up.

Green followed with a single, taking second on the throw home which held Emmerling, who was running for Rutherford, at third.

Photo courtesy of Brad Miller

A grounder to the third by Dale ended the threat.

A single and a stolen base ignited Loudoun County’s sixth. A grounder to first got the runner to third then a double made it 2-1. An infield hit put runners at the corners. Green got the second out and held the runner at third but his next pitch was shot into the gap in left-center for a two-run triple to make it 4-1.

Bryant countered in the bottom of the inning. Akers drew a walk and beat the play at second on Miller’s grounder to short. But Akers was thrown out trying to get to third by the Virginia catcher. In turn, Troillett earned a walk. Matthews lined out to second but then Tucker came through in the clutch with an RBI single. A walk to Rutherford loaded the bases.

Yates came on to pinch-hit for Thompson but a strikeout ended the inning.

Photo courtesy of Brad Miller

Green surrendered a lead-off double in the top of the seventh but retired the next three to keep it 4-2, giving Bryant hope of mounting another rally with the top of the line-up coming up in the bottom of the inning. But Green popped to second, Dale struck out and Akers flew out to short as the game concluded.

Bryant was set to play Vancouver, Wash., on Sunday then Arlington, Mass., on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., before concluding pool play against Waite Park, Minn., on Wednesday at 11 a.m. On Saturday, Watie Park downed Arlington, 8-1. Sunday would be Vancouver’s opener.

The top three teams from the two five-team divisions advance to the single-elimination championship tournament beginning Thursday, Aug. 26.

Photo courtesy of Brad Miller
Photo courtesy of Brad Miller
Photo courtesy of Brad Miller

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