Bryant 15’s win State tourney opener

PINE BLUFF — The Bryant 15-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars rallied from an early 3-1 deficit to overtake the Sheridan All-Stars in their opener at the State Tournament on Saturday.

Quinton Motto and Jordan Taylor combined on the mound for the victory. Motto worked into the sixth before giving way to Taylor with two out and two on and Bryant leading 4-3. Taylor struck out Todd Snyder to end the inning then closed out the win with a 1-2-3 seventh.

Offensively, Seth Alkire contributed a pair of RBI doubles to the comeback.

Bryant is set to return to action on Sunday at 5 p.m. against White Hall, one of the teams that beat them in District tournament play.[more]

The Bryant 15-year-old All-Stars, coached by Wayne Taylor, include Seth Alkire, Jared Archer, Dylan Cross, Ozzie Hurt, Tyler Jamison, Luke McConnell, Quinton Motto, Trevor Paige, Josh Pultro, Alex Rowlan, Stoney Stephens, Jordan Taylor and Matthew Welch.

After Motto pitched out of a jam in the top of the first, the Sox took a 1-0 lead. Jamison led off with an infield hit and, on a bunt-and-run, Hurt got a bunt down and Jamison sprinted all the way to third. He scored on a groundout to short by Taylor.

Sheridan took the lead in the second. Casey Hanson reached on a third-strike wild pitch then Caleb Hollinger walked. Snyder bunted them to second and third and, with two down, Austin McClure hit a fly to left that was misjudged and fell for a two-run double.

Grady Finley, the Sheridan starter, retired the side in order in the second and his teammates added to the lead in the top of the third on a walk to Wyatt Clay, a sac-bunt by Finley and an RBI double by Ryan Taylor.

But Motto got the next two batters to groundout and Bryant went back to work on offense.

Archer drew a walk but was forced at second on a grounder by Jamison, who hustled to beat the relay and avoid the doubleplay. That proved crucial when, after Jamison swiped second, he scored on a single to left by Taylor, making it 3-2.

Motto worked a 1-2-3 top of the fourth with some defensive help from Hurt at second and Taylor at short.

In turn, Bryant gained the lead in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Pultro singled to center, took second on a sacrifice by Stevens then scored on a single by Alkire. A late throw to the plate allowed Alkire to take second and he scored too moments later when Archer’s bouncer to short drew a bad throw to first.

Motto, on a stretch in which he retired 10 in a row, Motto preserved that lead. With two down in the bottom of the sixth, Hanson singled to snap the string. Caleb Hollinger was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. But Taylor came on to end the inning.

Bryant added some insurance in the bottom of the sixth. Motto’s shallow fly to left dropped for a hit to start the inning. Pultro got a sacrifice down and, with two down, Alkire doubled him home.

After moving up on a passed ball, Alkire scored on an infield hit by Welch to make it 6-3.

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