SHERWOOD — The Bryant 5-year-old All-Star T-ball team got its first taste of what figures to be many years of[more] post-season play over the weekend in the 6-and-under State Tournament at Sherwood ballpark.
Bryant opened the tournament with a thrilling come-from-behind win over Hamburg, 24-23, on Friday. Against a 6-year-old team from Sylvan Hills, the Bryant Stars absorbed a 16-1 loss. They came back and battled to the end in their next game against Marion but suffered a 22-19 setback.
The Bryant 5-and-under team is managed by Brad Chism with assistance from C.J. Brown and Jeff Jackson. Players are John Thomas Allen, Carter Brown, Cooper Chism, Cannon Davis, Brody Fischer, Avery Heidelberg, Canon Hill, Landon Jackson, Colt Martin, E.J. McCoy, Braxton Speer, Jake Taylor and Hudson Thomason.
Marion 22, Bryant 5’s 19
Marion opened the game by grabbing a 4-0 lead but Bryant scored six times in the bottom of the inning and the seesaw battle was underway.
The Bryant first started with singles from Speer and Heidelberg. Both moved up on a tap to the mound by Chism and McCoy, Thomason and Brown cracked consecutive singles to get the scoring going. Jackson reached base but was forced on a grounder to second by Davis. Base hits by Taylor and Allen capped the inning in which Bryant put up the maximum of six runs.
Marion tied it with two runs in the top of the second only to have Bryant nudge ahead again in the home half when Fischer singled and scored on a two-out triple by Heidelberg.
Marion took its turn at a max-inning to grab a 12-7 advantage only to have Bryant tie it back up in the bottom of the inning. McCoy singled and, with one out, so did Brown. With two away, Davis belted a two-run double to get the scoring started.
After Taylor singled, Allen drilled a two-run triple. He then scored as well when Fischer cracked a double, tying it up.
And when Bryant held Marion to just three runs in the fourth, it opened the door for the Stars to take the lead with another five in the home half of the inning. This time, Speer and Heidelberg singled. Chism grounded into a force at third but McCoy and Thomason came through with RBI singles. A run scored as well when Brown bounced into a force at second.
Jackson got things revved up again with a double and, after Davis singled, Taylor belted a two-bagger. Though Davis was out trying to score, ending the inning, Bryant led 17-15.
Marion bounced back with six in the top of the fifth to regain the edge, 22-17. Bryant had a chance to win it in the bottom of the inning but got held to two on a single by Allen and doubles from Fischer and Speer.
Sylvan Hills 16, Bryant 5’s 1
With maximum innings in the first and third, Sylvan Hills gained control of the opener early.
Trailing 6-0 going into the bottom of the first, Bryant got something going when Heidelberg lashed a one-out double and Chism singled with one away. With two out, Thomason drove in the run with a base hit but he was forced at second on a grounder by Brown to end the threat.
The defense of Sylvan Hills helped keep Bryant from managing another base-runner in the game.
Bryant 24, Hamburg 23
After three innings, Bryant found itself trailing Hamburg 17-8 but the Stars rallied by outscoring their opponent 11-5 in the last two innings including a five-run home fifth to pull out the victory.
Brown came through with the game-winner to cap off the comeback. Doubles by Speer and Heildelberg provided the spark. Chism singled then McCoy lashed a double as well. And when Thomason came through with a double, it put Brown into position to smack the decisive blow, a single.
Hamburg jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first.
Bryant managed two in the home half on hits from Speer, Heidelberg and McCoy only to have Hamburg strike for five more in the top of the second to make it 11-2.
Bryant’s Stars got back into the game by maximizing their second. The onslaught commenced with consecutive doubles by Jackson, Davis, and Taylor. Fischer singled and, after moving up on a groundout by Martin, scored on a hit by Speer to make it 11-8.
Hamburg, however, answered with another six in the top of the third to expand the lead to nine runs.
Bryant stayed alive with five in the bottom of the frame. This time, McCoy instigated the outburst with a double. Thomason singled then Hamburg retired the next two in a bid to put a premature stop to the proceedings. But a clutch single by Davis got the carousel fired up again. Taylor and Allen smacked hits and Fischer belted a double. A single by Martin brought Allen home to make it 17-13.
The key inning followed. Bryant held Hamburg to just two runs in the fourth and answered with six to tie the game. Nine batters in a row had hits for Bryant starting with Heidelberg’s single. Chism and McCoy followed with two-baggers then Thompson singled. A double by Brown drove in a run before Jackson, Davis, Taylor and Allen lashed consecutive singles with Jackson coming in with the tying run.
Hamburg put itself in position to win by snapping the tie and scoring four times for a 23-19 lead in the top of the sixth only to have Bryant strike for five to win it in walk-off fashion.