BENTON — With many of the same players that surged to the 2012 13-year-old Babe Ruth World[more] Series championship, expectations are high for the 2013 14-year-old All-Stars from Bryant. But, as the old saying goes, you’ve got to play them one at a time.
And nothing's automatic.
Still, the team opened the 14-year old Babe Ruth State Tournament at Holland Park Friday with the Clark County All-Stars in the opposing dugout and took the first step. Scoring in each of the four innings while Alex Shurtleff and Garrett Misenheimer combined on a three-hitter, Bryant rolled to an 11-1 win.
Step two will be a challenge from the El Dorado All-Stars on Saturday morning.
The Bryant 14-and-under team is managed by Jerry East. The players are Logan Allen, Drew Brown, Cameron Coleman, Jake East, Lawson Fincher, Jeffrey Hastings, Dylan Hurt, Austin Kelly, Hayden Knowles, Preston Kyzer, Garrett Misenheimer, Aaron Orender, Kyle Sahr, Alex Shurtleff and Diego Vargas.
Bryant actually trailed in the game. Clark County took advantage of a little early wildness from Shurtleff to put up its run on a walk and a series of wild pitches and passed balls. Shurtleff went on to strike out six in three innings of work, allowing one singles to open the game, a hit that was immediately followed by the runner getting thrown out trying to steal.
Misenheimer also surrendered a single to the first batter he faced in the top of the fourth but Bryant turned a doubleplay, started by Misenheimer himself. He would work around an error in the inning as well then pitch through a walk and a single to start the fifth.
Misenheimer led the team offensively too with three hits and two runs batted in. East and Hurt added two hits apiece.
Trailing 1-0, Bryant scored three times in the bottom of the first. East beat out an infield hit and Orender reached on an error. After they moved up on a passed ball, Shurtleff drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly. Misenheimer singled in Orender and Hurt drilled a double to make it 3-0.
Hastings started a four-run second with a single and a stolen base. Coleman followed with a base hit to right and East doubled him in. Coleman scored on a passed ball as Orender walked.
After East and Orender worked a double steal, Shurtleff connected on his second sacrifice fly and Misenheimer capped the inning with another RBI single.
The 7-1 lead expanded to 9-1 in the third. Again, Hastings got things started. This time, he was hit by a pitch but, once more, he followed that up with a stolen base. He moved to third on a passed ball and, after Coleman stole second, another passed ball allowed Hastings to score. Coleman came in the same way.
Misenheimer’s double opened the fourth. Hurt singled him in and swiped second. With two down, Vargas came through with a single to make it 11-1.