BENTON — In the third leg of the Wally Hall Triple Crown, the Bryant Athletic Association Blue[more] League 6-year-old team finished as runners-up to a team from Texarkana, falling 9-8 in the championship round on Sunday, May 6.
Bryant had advanced past Sylvan Hills in the semifinals 15-1. In pool play, they had lost to Texarkana 10-9 but defeated the Bulldogs 18-10.
Bryant team members are Reid Catton, Clay Crawford, Gavin Hill, Dylan Hunt, Grant Johnson, Carson Kemp, Julius McClellan, C.J. Nagle, Aden Palmer, Andrew Schroeder, Braxton Speer and Caden Stovall. Patrick Schroeder is the head coach with assistants, Shawn Hill and Chad Kemp.
Texarkana 9, Bryant 8
In the title game, Texarkana grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and added three more in the top of the second.
Bryant cut it to 5-4 in the bottom of the second. Catton, McClellan, Crawford and Stovall had consecutive singles to start the inning. Hill picked up an RBI with a groundout and Schroeder capped the uprising with a hit to left.
Neither team scored in the third but Texarkana added three to its lead in the top of the fourth. Crawford scored for Bryant in the bottom of the inning and it was 8-5.
Texarkana pushed a final run home in the top of the fifth and it proved to be the difference as Bryant rallied. Schroeder doubled with one out and Hunt singled. With two down, Nagle came through with a hit. Kemp singled ahead of a double to right-center by Catton that had Bryant within 9-8 with the potential tying and lead run in scoring position.
But Texarkana managed to get out of it at that point, holding on for the win.
Bryant 15, Sylvan Hills 1
Bryant scored five runs to jump in front in the first inning then scored the maximum six runs in the second to blow the game up. After Sylvan Hills got a run in during the bottom of the second, Bryant scored four more to end the put it out of reach.
The first-inning burst featured consecutive hits by Hunt, Johnson, Nagle, Kemp and Catton. The second started with hits by Stovall and Palmer. With one out, Hunt singled. With two away, Nagle came through with a double in front of consecutive singles by Kemp, Catton, McClellan and Crawford.
The third inning began with a one-out single to left by Stovall. Palmer did the same then Schroeder cracked a triple into the right-field corner. Hits by Hunt, Johnson and Nagle produced the final two runs.
Bryant 18, Bulldogs 10
A three-run second snapped a 3-3 tie and Bryant never looked back in the pool play slugfest.
Bryant took the lead initially on singles by Hunt, Nagle, Kemp, Catton and McClellan with a double from Crawford to cap things off.
The Bulldogs tied it in the bottom of the inning but had no answer after Bryant’s second. Stovall led off with a single but was thrown out on a nice relay as he tried to stretch it to a double. With two down, Schroeder, Hunt, Johnson, Nagle and Kemp reeled off consecutive singles to make it 6-3.
After the Bulldogs came up empty in the bottom of the inning, Bryant extended the margin on hits by Crawford, Hill, Palmer and Schroeder.
The Bulldogs whittled a pair of runs off the 9-3 lead in the bottom of the third but Bryant kept the carousel spinning in response, scoring six times in the top of the fourth on hits by Nagle, Kemp, Catton, McClellan, Crawford, Hill and Stovall.
A five-run home fourth kept the Bulldogs alive but, leading 15-10, Bryant put the game out of reach in the top of the fifth. Schroeder singled but was forced at second on a grounder to short by Hunt. Hits by Johnson, Nagle, Kemp and Catton, however, made it 18-10. Catton’s double was the final blow.
Texarkana 10, Bryant 9
Trailing 9-8, Texarkana rallied for two runs with a two-out hit in the bottom of the fifth to steal the win in the first pool play game.
The seesaw battle began with Bryant staking out a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Crawford and Hunt singled then Nagle grounded into a force at second that got a run in. He eventually scored on a base hit by Catton.
Texarkana countered with five in the home first and Bryant was in catch-up mode when they came up in the second. Johnson doubled and scored on a hit by Stovall but Texarkana escaped with a 5-3 lead intact.
Bryant held the Razorbacks scoreless in the bottom of the second and surged into the lead with four in the top of the third. Hunt, Nagle, Kemp and Catton opened the inning with singles. McClellan smacked a double and hits by Johnson and Stovall capped off the inning.
Texarkana tied it with two runs in the bottom of the inning but Bryant pushed two runs home in the top of the fourth to regain the edge. The two-out rally started with a single by Hunt. Nagle and Kemp followed with doubles to make it 11-9.
Texarkana made it a one-run game in the bottom of the fourth then retired Bryant 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth, setting up the game-winning rally in the bottom half.