Photos by Kevin Nagle
BENTON — A week after capturing the Arklatex Classic in Texarkana with a 16-15 come-from-behind win over[more] the hosting Razorbacks, the Bryant Blue League 6-year-old team ran into those same Razorbacks in the finals of a tournament in Benton last weekend and came up short, 13-11.
In pool play, Bryant had defeated a team of Benton 5-year-olds 21-0 but lost to the Razorbacks, 15-7.
In bracket play, Bryant again dismissed the Benton 5’s, 16-1, then knocked off the Texarkana, Texas, Vipers, 16-7, to set up the rematch with the Razorbacks for the championship.
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 Razorbacks 13, Bryant 11
It took three innings before Bryant was able to get going offensively. Meanwhile, Texarkana built a 13-1 lead with five runs in the first, two in the second, three in the third and three more in the top of the fourth.
Bryant managed a run in the first on hits by Hunt, Nagle and Kemp.
In the fourth, Nagle singled and, with one out, Catton plugged the gap in right-center for a double. A triple by McClellan was followed by singles from Hill, Johnson, Stovall and Palmer before the Razorbacks got out of the inning.
Bryant held Texarkana scoreless in the top of the fifth and made a bid to catch up in the bottom of the inning. Crawford ignited the rally with a triple. Hunt singled him in then Nagle singled and, with one out, Catton cracked a double. With two away, hill singled and Johnson drilled a double to right-center. A hit by Stovall cut the lead to 13-11 and Bryant had the tying runs on second and third when the final out was recorded.
Bryant 16, Texarkana Vipers 7
Bryant scored the maximum seven runs in the third and the fourth to overtake the Vipers who had taken a 3-2 lead in the second.
Bryant scored twice in the top of the first on singles by Hunt, Nagle and Catton. The Vipers were unable to scratch out a run in the first but the three-run second had them ahead.
Bryant’s game-turning fourth began with hits by Speer and Schroeder. Though Schroeder was caught trying to advance, Crawford got things going again with a triple. Hunt and Nagle followed with consecutive doubles. Singles by Kemp and Catton then doubles by McClellan and Hill made it 8-3. Johnson singled to complete the seven-run blitz.
The Vipers trimmed a pair of runs off the advantage in the bottom of the third but when Stovall led off the fourth with a single, the Bryant bats were ignited again. Palmer singled ahead of a double by Speer. Schoeder singled and, with one out, Hunt and Nagle slapped hits. With two away, Catton singled and McClellan and Hill brought him around to make it 16-5.
The Vipers needed the max to stay alive in the bottom of the fourth but only added two.
Bryant 16, Benton 5’s 1
In a three-inning game, Benton’s only run came in the second. Bryant plated the maximum in each of the first two innings and put the game out of reach with two in the bottom of the third. (The two teams played another inning for practice.)
Crawford singled to open Bryant’s first inning. He was forced at second as Johnson reached but base hits by Nagle and Kemp led to a double by Catton that got the scoring started. Hill singled then Stovall and McClellan cracked doubles. Hunt’s base hit made it 7-0.
In the second, Palmer, Speer, Schroeder and Nagle had singles; Crawford, Johnson, Kemp, Catton and Hill had doubles.
Stovall singled to start the third. With one out, hits by Hunt and Palmer completed the victory.
Razorbacks 15, Bryant 7
Texarkana countered a three-run first by Bryant with a seven-run uprising then scored in all four innings, putting the game out of reach with three runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Though Bryant had runners on base in the second and third, none scored. A four-run top of the fourth kept the team’s hopes alive before Texarkana clinched it in the bottom of the inning.
Bryant scored three times in the top of the first. Crawford, Johnson and Nagle singled to start the inning but Nagle was thrown out trying to get to second on his hit. Kemp, however, followed with a home run. Hits by Catton and Stovall had Bryant in position to add more but Texarkana got out of the inning with no further damage.
Bryant’s comeback in the fourth began with a one-out single by Hill. With two down, McClellan kept the inning alive with a single. Hunt doubled both runs home then scored on a single by Palmer. Speer knocked him in to make it 13-7 before the side was retired.
Bryant 21, Benton 5’s 0
Bryant scored the maximum seven runs in each of the third innings. The two teams played on for practice and Bryant made it four inning and the Benton youngsters got another couple of chances at the plate, picking up two runs in the fourth.
A double by Nagle with two out got Bryant’s first inning going. Kemp singled and Catton doubled. Base hits by Hill, Stovall, McClellan and Hunt followed before Palmer capped the inning off with a two-bagger.
In the second, Speer’s double start things off. Schroeder singled but was forced at second on Crawford’s grounder. Johnson singled then Nagle ripped another double. Kemp and Catton followed suit to keep the carousel going. A base hit by Hill and, an out later, another double by McClellan made it 14-0.
Hunt, Palmer, Speer, Crawford and Johnson had hits in the third before Nagle cleared the bases with a triple. Kemp singled, Catton lashed his third double and Hill ended the inning with a base hit.