SHERWOOD — The Bryant 6-and-under All-Stars went 5-0 on the way to nabbing the championship[more] of the State Tournament held at Sylvan Hills over the weekend. The team advances to the Southwest Regional at Benton starting July 12.
Members of the team are from left, Avery Heidelberg, Hudson Thomason, Drake Holland, Andrew Schroeder, Cooper Chism, Zack Covert, J.T. Allen, Carter Brown, E.J. McCoy, Landen Jackson, Aiden Stout, Gavyn Benson, Braxton Speers with coaches, back from left, Patrick Schroeder, C.J. Brown, manager Brad Chism, and Jeff Jackson.
In the championship game on Tuesday, Bryant defeated host Sylvan Hills, 17-8. To reach the final, the Stars beat rival Benton, 12-7, on Monday. They’d opened the tournament on Friday, defeating Warren, 18-2. Saturday they buried Lonoke, 18-1, and, on Sunday, they sent Sylvan Hills to the losers bracket with a 19-6 win.
Along the way, Bryant scored the maximum of six runs in 12 of the 17 innings they batted in.
Bryant 17, Sylvan Hills 8
After holding Sylvan Hills in the top of the first, Bryant got six in the bottom of the inning. Allen doubled and Speer tripled to get it started in a big way. McCoy singled to make it 2-0.
Thomason grounded into a force at second but Brown followed with a single and Stout ripped a double. Base hits from Heidelberg, Chism, Benson and Schroeder completed the blitz.
Sylvan Hills pushed two runs home in the top of the second but Bryant went back to work in the home half, starting with a double by Jackson. Covert singled then Holland ripped a double. Hits by Allen, Speer, Thomason and Brown finished up the uprising.
A three-run top of the third cut the lead to 12-5 but Bryant answered with five more in the home half of the frame. With one out, Heidelberg ignited the inning with a single. Chism added a base hit but was out on a grounder by Benson before Schroeder singled, Jackson doubled and Covert, Holland and Allen struck base hits.
Three more runs in the top of the fourth wasn’t enough to extend the game.
Bryant 12, Benton 7
Trailing 1-0 going into the bottom of the first, Bryant erupted with five runs to gain the upper hand. Allen’s double got the offense started. With one out, McCoy and Thomason singled to produce the run. With two down, Stout singled and Heidelberg homered.
Benton cut it to 5-2 in the top of the second and, with three in the third, evened the game at 5-5. That’s when Bryant broke out with six. Holland’s single opened the frame then Allen, Speer and McCoy stroked consecutive doubles. Base hits from Thomason, Stout and Heidelberg followed as the lead grew to 11-5.
Benton stayed alive with two more runs in the top of the fourth. In turn, Bryant tacked on an insurance run when Benson and Schroeder singled before Benton ended the inning with a doubleplay.
But the Bryant defense set down Benton three in a row in the top of the fifth to close out the victory.
Bryant 19, Sylvan Hills 6
Both teams scored the maximum in the first inning but Bryant kept on in the second and third while putting a halt to Sylvan Hills’ scoring.
To open the game, Allen and Speer singled ahead of a double by McCoy. Thomason singled and, with one out, Stout belted a double to make it 4-0. Hits by Heidelberg and Chism each drove in runs.
But Sylvan Hills got its six to tie it in the home half of the inning. In the top of the second, the onslaught continued for Bryant. Benson singled but was out trying to go to second. Schroeder and Jackson cracked singles in front of two-baggers from Covert and Holland. Allen, Speer, McCoy, Thomason and Brown rapped consecutive hits to make it 12-6.
And, after Sylvan Hills was quieted in the bottom of the inning, Bryant’s third max inning included consecutive hits from Stout, Heidelberg, Chism, Benson, Schroeder, Jackson and Covert.
To put the game out of reach, Speer doubled and scored on a single by McCoy in the top of the fourth.
Bryant 18, Lonoke 1
The Bryant Stars opened the game with a power display. Allen doubled the Speer and McCoy blasted homers. Thomason and Brown doubled and Stout singled to make it 5-0.
After Heidelberg and Chism grounded into force outs, Benson doubled and Schroeder singled in the sixth run.
Lonoke got its lone run in the top of the second then never retired a batter in the Bryant second when Jackson doubled to ignite another max inning. Covert and Holland each singled then raced home when Allen slugged a triple. Speer singled him in then McCoy doubled and base hits by Thomason and Brown finished out the scoring.
The third-inning blitz began with a Stout double before Heidelberg came through with the team’s third home run of the game. After Chism and Benson singled, Jackson clubbed a double, Covert singled and Allen belted a two-bagger. Speer capped it off with a triple.
Bryant 18, Warren 2
A trio of six-run innings buried Warren in a game in which only one out was recorded by the Warren defense.
The first began with doubles from Allen, Speer and McCoy. Thomason, Brown, Stout and Heidelberg followed with singles.
In the second, Chism singled then Benson and Schroeder doubled. Base hits from Jackson and Covert preceded doubles by Holland and Allen. Speer finished it off with and RBI single.
The third featured a three-run homer by Brown after McCoy and Thomason had singled. Stout, Heidelberg and Chism each singled before Benson drilled a double and Schroeder ended it with a base hit.