LONOKE — The Bryant Athletic Association 6-year-old All Star team captured the[more] championship of the Summer Heat Tournament last weekend, defeating Batesville 14-3 in the title game.
To get to the final, Bryant whipped Marion Strike Force 18-2 then defeated Batesville in two games in a row, 18-1 and 14-4 before the championship game.
Members of the team include (pictured above from left), assistant coach Jeff Jackson, head coach Brad Chism, assistant coach C.J. Brown, Patrick Schroeder; Hudson Thomason, Carter Brown, Zack Covert, Avery Heidelberg, Andrew Schroeder, E.J. McCoy; Braxton Speer, Drake Holland, Aiden Stout, Cooper Chism, Gavyn Benson, Landen Jackson, J.T. Allen.
The tournament was highlighted by E.J. McCoy’s two home run blasts.
Bryant 14, Batesville 3
Batesville put the first runs on the board, scoring two in the top of the first but Heidelberg smacked a home run to start the bottom of the inning and Bryant was off and running on the way to a five-run uprising. Doubles by Speer and McCoy produced a run then Thomason drilled a triple to make it 3-0. Brown singled him in.
Stout bounced into a force at second and Allen singled. Chism grounded into a force at second as Stout reached third and Benson capped the inning with a base hit to bring him in.
Batesville put the first two runners aboard in the top of the second but the Bryant defense made the plays to keep them there.
In the home second, Bryant made it a blowout, scoring the maximum six runs. Jackson and Holland singled to set the table for Heidelberg, who doubled in a run. After Speer singled, McCoy smacked a double and Thomason singled in a pair, though he was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double. A two-bagger by Brown set up the Stout’s RBI single to finish off the inning.
After holding Batesville again in the third, Allen, Benson, Jackson, Covert and Holland had hits that produced three more Bryant runs in the bottom of the third.
The game ended when Batesville could only muster one run in the top of the fourth.
Bryant 14, Batesville 4
A five-run third inning by Bryant’s Stars overcame a 4-3 deficit as they punched their ticket to the championship game. McCoy clubbed his two over-the-fence homers in the game, a two-run shot in the first and a three-run blast in the fourth. Speer singled with one out before McCoy unloaded in the first. Thomason and Brown followed with singles and Stout picked up an RBI when he grounded into a force at second.
Batesville countered with a four-run uprising in the bottom of the first and the 4-3 edge held through the second frame. In the third, however, Holland ignited the game-breaking outburst with a base hit. With one out, Speer ripped a double with McCoy and Thomason following with singles to chase him home. With two down, Stout cracked a double and Allen singled to make it 8-4.
When Bryant added six runs in the top of the fourth, it put the game out of reach for Batesville. Benson’s double started the inning. Schoeder smacked a triple then, with one out, Covert and Holland singled. Heidelberg grounded into a force at second and Speer singled to set the stage for McCoy’s second round-tripper.
Defensively, Bryant retired the last nine batters and 10 of the last 11.
Bryant 18, Batesville 1
Bryant scored the maximum of six runs in each at-bat after Batesville grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
The opening salvo started with doubles from Heidelberg and Speer then back-to-back singles from McCoy and Thomason. With one out, Stout and Allen clubbed doubles and when Chism and Benson added hits, they’d reached six.
Schroeder opened the second with a single to left but was thrown out trying to make it to second on the play. Jackson, Covert, Holland and Heidelberg had base hit before Speer doubled. Singles from McCoy, Thomason, Brown and Stout increased the margin to 12-1.
Allen singled and Chism tripled to start the third. Benson’s single drove in Chism and, after Schroeder bounced into a force at second, the hit parade started again with singles from Jackson, Covert, Holland, Heidelberg and Speer.
Bryant 18, Strike Force 2
Once again, Bryant fell behind in the first inning, 1-0. The response was the same though delayed by an inning. The 1-0 lead held until Bryant’s second when seven straight hits produced six runs. Thomason’s single opened the spree. Brown and Stout belted doubled, Allen and Chism singled, Benson doubled and Schroeder finished it off with a base hit.
Strike Force pushed a run home in the top of the third to cut the Bryant lead to 6-2 but, after not retiring anyone in the second, Marion managed to only get one out in the third while Bryant added six more runs. Jackson, Holland, Heidelberg and Speer each singled before McCoy, Thomason and Brown drilled doubles. Stout’s single made it 12-2.
In the fourth, only one Bryant batter was retired as the final six runs came in on eight singles.
Bryant opens play in the 6-and-under State Tournament at Sylvan Hills this Friday.