The challenge for a 14-and-under Babe Ruth team to compete in a State Tournament featuring all 15U teams is no small thing. And the fact, the Bryant 14’s ousted the Benton 15’s was certainly something to celebrate on Sunday.
But, on Monday, the run for the Bryant 14’s came to an end as they absorbed the brunt of a frustrated Ouachita County 15U team, 12-2.
Ouachita County had defeated the Bryant 15’s and the Sylvan Hills 15’s but the Sylvan Hills team recognized some players on the Ouachita team that, as it turned out, weren’t from Ouachita County (Camden). Once the information was verified, Sylvan Hills was declared the winner by default and advanced in the winners’ bracket.
Ouachita County dropped into the losers’ bracket and jumped on the Bryant 14’s early. With the win, Ouachita County was set to play the Bryant 15’s again in an elimination game later in the evening.
Had the Bryant 14’s been able to upend Ouachita County, they would’ve been pitted against the Bryant 15’s.
Though they were eliminated, it was, no doubt, great experience for the 14’s, coached by Michael Catton. The team included Jorge Acosta, Luke Bickerstaff, Mason Butler, Reid Catton, Clay Crawford, Tucker Dunn, Brandon Gabe, Logan Grantham, Ryan Green, Matthew Griffe, Hunter Holt, Justen Myles, Gustavo Rico and Lakin Woods.
The Camden team scored five runs in each of the first two innings. Woods, on in relief of Holt, settled things down after the second inning and held Ouachita County to two runs over the final four frames.
Bryant was limited to five hits, though they wailed out seven walks. Acosta, Crawford, Butler, Bickerstaff and Woods had the hits.
Ouachita County used four singles, an error and a double to score five in the first. In the second, two hit batsmen and an error opened the door. A double, a single and an error made it 10-0.
After stranding Holt and Griffe, who had walked, in the first, Bryant got its first hit to start the second, an infield single by Butler. Bickerstaff walked but the Camden team turned a doubleplay, third to first. Catton walked but a strikeout ended the threat.
A double, a stolen base and an error made it 11-0 in the top of the third.
In the home half, Woods singled and advanced to second on Gabe’s groundout. He reached third when Acosta tapped out to the pitcher. And when Holt’s grounder to first was misplayed, Woods scored. Holt wound up at second and Crawford singled him to third but, again, a strikeout ended the inning.
Woods pitched around a pair of singles in the top of the fourth. Bickerestaff beat out an infield hit to start the home fourth and, with two away, Ricco walked. But both were stranded.
Ouachita County tacked on a run on one hit in the top of the fifth and Bryant got that back in the bottom of the inning.
Gabe walked, stole second and scored on Acosta’s double to left. Butler walked with two out but Bryant was unable to get any more as Ouachita County closed out the victory.