Bryant 14s to play for Regional championship after two more comeback wins on Monday

Pitcher Marcus Wilson leaps hit to try to flag down a wild throw as White Hall's Clay Cannon scores. (Photo by Rick Nation)By Rob Patrick

As one sage observer noted at the 2009 Babe Ruth Southwest Regional Tournament on Monday, watching the Bryant 14-year-old All-Stars is kind of like watching an NBA game. All you need to see is the last two minutes or the last two innings.

Though it wasn’t as dramatic and down to the wire as their Sunday night comeback to beat Nederland, Texas, the Bryant Stars came from behind twice on Monday to make their way to the championship round of the tournament, two wins away from returning to a World Series.

Against McComb, Miss., Bryant rallied from an early 6-2 deficit to win 10-8. A four-run sixth gave them the lead and, after McComb scored two in the bottom of the inning, an insurance run in the seventh set the final score.

That set up the losers bracket final against rival White Hall. The two teams were playing each other for the fourth time this summer. They’d tangled three times in the State tournament with Bryant winning twice in the championship round after White Hall sent them to the losers bracket in the opening game.

Bryant trailed 4-1 on Sunday through four innings but scratched out seven runs in the fifth on the way to a 10-4 victory.

Bryant, the South Arkansas champion, will play Fort Smith, the North Arkansas champion, this evening at 5 with Bryant hoping to force a winner-take-all finale at 7:30.[more]

Cameron Price contributed a key RBI double in Bryant's win over White Hall. (Photo by Rick Nation)

Bryant’s 14-year-olds, coached by Jimmy Parker with assistance from Tony Ethridge and B.J. Wood, include Zach Cambron, Evan Castleberry, Hayden Daniel, Josh Davis, Evan Etheridge, Tyler Green, Riley Hall, Blain Jackson, Tyler Nelson, Cameron Price, Daniel Richards, Trent Rivers, Tryce Schalchlin, Justin Vincent and Marcus Wilson.

Parker, hobbling on a painfully swollen knee which he injured during the celebration on Sunday, had said before the tournament that he’d be proud of his team no matter how they did in the Regional. That came after the impressive run through the losers bracket at State. Now, they’ve done it again against even tougher opposition in the Regional. Yet, Parker may still be waiting for his team to play its best in the tourney. In the two games on Monday, they won despite committing a combined 13 errors.

Bryant 10, White Hall 4

This marked the first time in the Regional that the team that scored first didn’t win. That held through 14 games.

White Hall took a 2-0 lead in the third with the help of a two-out walk and a couple of those fielding breakdowns. The free pass to Tyler Carr was followed by a booted grounder that allowed Clay Cannon to reach. Chris Smith followed with a bloop single down the right field line that chased home Carr and when the throw from right field missed the cut-off man and sailed past catcher Davis, Cannon scored.

Wilson, the Bryant starter, got Joseph Stewart to line out to second to end the inning.

Wilson would work six innings, allowing five hits and four walks while fanning eight. Only one — that first one — of White Hall’s runs was earned.

Bryant got on the board in the bottom of the inning. Davis reached second on a throwing error and, with two down, Wilson beat out an infield hit that brought another errant throw which allowed Davis to score.

But White Hall starter Hunter Hale induced a groundout that ended the inning.

White Hall came back to score two more in the top of the fourth. Ronnie Gray singled and pinch-runner Jeremy Sprinkle stole second. With two down, Michael Acosta drew a walk to set the stage for Landon Reed’s RBI single. And when the throw to the plate again missed the cut-off and evaded Davis, Acosta followed Sprinkle across the plate.

But Wilson struck out Carr to keep it 4-1.

Tryce Schalchlin takes a throw at first. (Photo by Rick Nation)

Hale, meanwhile, was shackling Bryant on three hits over the first four innings.

In the fifth, however, Davis ripped a 1-2 delivery into the gap in left-center. Smith made a valiant effort to flag the ball down but it got past him.

Davis took third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Daniel to make it 4-2. Daniel swiped second, took third on a base hit by Nelson. With the White Hall infield back, Wilson grounded up the middle to Sprinkle, the shortstop, allowing Daniel to score. Likewise, Nelson then scored on another groundout.

With two out and nobody on, a walk to Green sparked the second half of the seven-run rally. He stole second and scored on a gap-shot by Cambron for a double, tying the game, 4-4.

Carr relieved for White Hall and, after a balk sent Cambron to third, Price then drove one over the head of Smith in center for an RBI double that put Bryant ahead. Trent Rivers singled to right driving in Price. Rivers raced all the way to third on an errant throw to the plate then scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-4.

Wilson worked around a two-out double by Stewart in the fifth and a two-out walk to Acosta on the sixth.

In the home sixth, a two-out error allowed Wilson to reach base and, after Richards singled, a throwing error from third base allowed both runs to score.

Vincent relieved Wilson in the top of the seventh. He worked around a couple of errors and an infield single by Stewart, closing it out with a strikeout as all three base-runners were stranded.

Bryant 10, McComb, Miss., 8

Bryant trailed 6-5 going into the sixth inning when, with one out, Daniel, Nelson and Wilson each walked to load the bases. Richards tapped to third and, an errant throw to the plate gave Bryant a 7-6 lead as Nelson followed Daniel home. Price singled in a run then so did Vincent, making it 9-6.

Vincent took the mound as the third Bryant pitcher following Schachlin, the starter, and Hall, who tossed 3 1/3 innings of shutout relief to keep McComb within hailing distance.

McComb proceeded to trim two runs off the lead. Brandon Canney walked then pinch-hitter Jacob Fleming drilled a two-bagger that got Canney home.

Vincent retired the next two and appeared to be out of the inning when Tanner Parvin grounded to short only to result in a wild throw to first. A second run score to make it 9-8, but Vincent ended the threat with a strikeout.

In the seventh, he picked up two more K’s as he retired the heart of the McComb batting order 1-2-3 to end the game.

Justin Viincent had an RBI single to go with his close-out pitching Monday. (Photo by Rick Nation)

Bryant had added an insurance run in the top of the seventh. Nelson singled and raced to third on an errant pickoff throw. Wilson singled to left to bring him in.

To start the game, Bryant had scored twice against McComb lefty Gage Posey. Daniel reached on a third-strike wild pitch then Nelson walked. Wilson got a bunt down that Posey fielded and, when his throw to third was wild, Nelson scored as well.

McComb took the lead in the bottom of the second on the strength of a six-run uprising. Singles by Randy Bell and Brandon Canny opened the inning. Tyler Stutzman walked and, with Dante Bradberry at the plate, a wild pitch allowed Bell to score.

Bradberry walked but then Schalchlin, the Bryant starter, struck out Brady Badon. Justin Brent’s subsequent single drove in Canny and when the throw from left got away, Stutzman and Bradberry scored to make it 4-0.

With Brent at second and two down, Marquis Lewis drilled the first of his three hits to center. Brent held at third but scored on another error, one of seven in the game for Bryant. And when a grounder to short was booted, Lewis scored to make it 6-2.

Bryant began whittling on the lead immediately. Daniel drew a walk, stole second and, after Wilson walked, scored on a two-out single by Green. Cambron then pulled a single to right, getting Wilson home. Green was thrown out at third on the play but the run counted.

Hall, who had recorded the final out of the second, hit a pair of batters in the third but both were stranded.

Bryant inched closer in the fourth. With two down, Davis singled, Daniel walked and Nelson ripped a single off the shortstop’s glove. And when the ball was kicked in the outfield, Davis scored to make it 6-5.

McComb loaded the bases in the fourth on a single by Lewis, an error that allowed Randy Bell to reach and a walk to Canny. But Hall induced a pop to second by Stutzman and a fly to center by Bradberry to escape.

Likewise, in the fifth, McComb loaded the bases on singles by Brent, Lewis and Posey. But Hall struck out Bell on three pitches to keep it 6-5, setting up Bryant’s sixth-inning uprising.

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