Bryant 14’s stay sharp for State tourney by playing in USSSA event

BENTON — Tuning up for the 14-and-under Division of the Babe Ruth State Tournament at Lonoke started July 7, the Bryant All-Stars are playing in the USSSA State Tournament. On Friday, they defeated the Little Rock Blues, 9-7. On Saturday, they played the Wild Hogs to a 1-1 tie in a five-inning game. Today, they were edged by the Prospects, 7-6.

The Bryant 14’s, coached by Scott Allison, include Kannon Allison, Tyler Bates, Dakota Clay, Connor Coleman, Noah Davis, Cole Ferguson, Will Hathcote, Connor Martin, Cameron McDonald, Justin Orender, Alec Purdom, Ryan Riggs, Blaine Sears, Lawson Speer, Brandon Thomisee and Josh Turner.

Bryant 9, Little Rock Blues 7

Trailing 3-1 going into the bottom of the third, Bryant erupted for eight runs then held off a Little Rock rally in the top of the fourth as the game timed out.

Using five hits including a pair of doubles by Thomisee along with five stolen bases, Bryant took advantage of seven walks to score its nine runs.

The Blues grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Bryant got on the board with a run in the home second. Turner drew a one-out walk and moved to second on Orender’s tap to the pitcher. Bates walked then the Little Rock pitcher was called for a balk. A passed ball allowed Bates to score, making it 2-1.

Little Rock added a run in the top of the third before Bryant’s big inning, which started with Thomisee’s double. Martin drew a walk as did Sears, filling the bases for Riggs who singled up the middle to plate a run.

With one out, Coleman walked to force in the tying run. Sears then stole home to give Bryant a 4-3 lead. Turner drew a free pass to fill the sacks again and, with two down, Riggs stole home and Bates singled in a run. Turner stole home before Allison was hit by a pitch.

Thomisee doubled home a run and, after Martin walked, Sears cracked an RBI single to make it 9-3.

Little Rock rallied for four runs in the top of the fourth before Sears, the third Bryant pitcher, picked a runner off first for the final out.

Bryant 1, Wild Hogs 1

After giving up a run in the bottom of the first, Turner, Clay, Allison and Sears shut out the Hogs the rest of the way in the five-inning game. Turner fanned five without a walk and just two hits in the first two innings. Clay gave up two hits and a walk with two strikeouts in two frames. Allison walked two and struck out a man to start the fifth then Sears got the final two outs, one on strikes.

Bryant managed just three hits, singles by Turner, Bates and Martin. The tying run scored in the top of the fourth when Clay was hit by a pitch, stole second and third then scored on a wild pitch.

The Hogs threatened in the bottom of the inning with two lead-off singles but Clay retired the next three on a foul pop to Riggs, the catcher, a shallow fly to Bates in right and a strikeout.

Bates singled in the top of the fifth but was stranded then the Hogs threatened again in the home half with time running out. A trio of walks loaded the bases with one out but Sears induced a pair of short flyballs to Coleman in right to escape with the score still deadlocked as the time limit arrived.

Prospects 7, Bryant 6

The Prospects built a 7-1 lead by the end of the third inning. Bryant picked up a run in the fourth then rallied for four in the fifth, falling short as time ran out.

Turner had two of Bryant’s five hits. He and Bates had RBIs.

Trailing 3-0, Bryant got on the board with a run in the home first. Walks to Sears, Riggs and Clay loaded the bases then a wild pitch allowed the run to score. But that wound up being the only run they could manage.

The Prospects scored two in the second and two more in the third.

Bryant’s fourth-inning tally came after Turner led off with a double. Clay came in as a courtesy runner and stole third with one out. With two down, he scored on a wild pitch before Orender was plunked by a pitch and Allison walked. They moved up on a passed ball but were stranded.

Turner, who started on the mound for Bryant, settled in and held the Prospects scoreless over the final two innings, pitching around a lead-off triple in the top of the fifth.

Bryant’s rally began with a walk to Sears and singles from Riggs and Clay. A base hit by Turner got Sears home. Bates’ knock plated Clay. An errant throw on the play allowed Bates to reach second. A wild pitch allowed the fifth run and, when the throw from the catcher to the pitcher covering got away, another run scored to make it 7-6.

But a pair of strikeouts followed as the game concluded.


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