LONOKE — With four of their seven hits going for extra bases, the Bryant All-Stars took advantage of six walks, a hit batsman and five errors to outslug the Lonoke All-Stars in the opening game of the 14-year-old South Arkansas Babe Ruth State Tournament on Thursday evening.
Cade Parker and Gavin Burton each had two hits while Connor Martin and Kyler Pabon each drove in three as Bryant won 11-6 in five innings against the tournament hosts.
The Bryant team, managed by Jason Greiner with assistance from Jeremy Morrow and Jon Parker, includes Gavin Burton, Tucker Dunn, Caleb Greiner, Drew Hatman, Hunter Holt, Connor Martin, Colby Morrow, Calvin Myles, Kyler Pabon, J.T. Parker and Cade Parker.
Bryant advanced to play today at 4:30 p.m., against the Cedar Mountain All-Stars.
J.T. Parker, Holt and Martin combined to limit Lonoke to three hits, but they were plagued by walks, combining for 10 of them with seven strikeouts. Bryant also committed three errors.
A four-run fourth rallied Bryant’s Stars after they had fallen behind 4-2. A five-run fifth put Bryant in control even through Lonoke rallied for two in the home fifth.
Both teams scored a run in the first. For Bryant, Holt reached on an error and J.T. Parker sacrificed him to second. Martin them came through with a two-out RBI double.
Lonoke used a walk and a two-out single to tie it.
Cade Parker singled, Greiner reached second on a wild throw and Burton was hit by a pitch in the second, but Bryant stranded all three.
A single and a pair of walks filled the bases for Lonoke in the bottom of the second. But Holt, who started the inning on the mound in relief of Parker, struck out the next two batters and got the third out on a tap in front of the plate that Burton, the Bryant catcher, pounced on, throwing to first in time to retire the side.
Bryant took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third. After two were out, Pabon waited out a four-pitch walk. Morrow hit a grounder to second, but the ball was booted. Cade Parker’s double plated Pabon.
But Lonoke countered with a three-run home third. A trio of one-out walks set the table. Martin relieved and got a strikeout on a 3-2 pitch, but the next batter doubled down the right-field line to drive in two. And when the ball was misplayed in right, a third run scored, and the batter wound up at third.
Martin ended it there with a strikeout.
The 4-2 lead didn’t last long. In the top of the fourth, Burton ripped a one-out triple to rev up the offense. After Holt drew a walk and Lonoke changed pitchers, J.T. Parker’s grounder to first was misplayed and the bases were loaded for Martin. He walked to force in a run, cutting the lead to 4-3.
Pabon came through with a double and Bryant had the lead as both Holt and J.T. Parker scored. Morrow’s bloop single to center brought Martin home and it was 6-4.
Lonoke turned a doubleplay to escape further damage.
Martin retired the side in order in the bottom of the fourth and Bryant went back to work at the plate in the top of the fifth.
Greiner reached on an error and stole second. A wild pitch sent him to third as Myles worked. A walk. Burton’s single plated a run and, after Holt walked to load the bases, J.T. Parker drew a four-pitch pass to make it 8-4.
After another pitching change for Lonoke, a balk brought Burton home. Martin delivered a sacrifice fly then J.T. Parker raced home on a third-strike wild pitch as Pabon fanned.
A pair of walks to start the bottom of the fifth gave Lonoke some hope despite trailing 11-4. An error put runners at second and third before Martin got the first out on strikes. A run scored on a grounder back to the box to make it 11-5.
Another walk had runners at first and third and a balk allowed the sixth run to score before Martin ended it with a strikeout.