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BENTON — The Bryant 6-and-under tournament team won a pair of thrillers decided by one[more] run including the championship game as they captured the third leg of the Everett Buick GMC Triple Crown at Holland Park over the weekend.
The team, managed by Brad Chism with assistance from Jeff Jackson, C.J. Brown and Patrick Schroeder, includes J.T. Allen, Cater Brown, Cooper Chism, Cannon Davis, Brodie Fischer, Avery Heidelberg, Landon Jackson, E.J. McCoy, Colt Martin, Braxton Speer, Jake Taylor and Hudson Thompson.
Bryant edged Lights Out in the championship game, 14-13 after opening with a 26-25 win over Benton then beating Lights Out, 17-4, in the semifinals.
Bryant 6U 14, Lights Out 13
Bryant scored six runs in the second to overcome a 4-2 deficit then got six more in the fourth to erase an 11-8 Lights Out lead.
In turn, Lights Out, trailing 14-11 going into the top of the fifth, put together a two-out rally, scoring twice and getting the potential tying and lead runs on base when Bryant got the final out in dramatic fashion.
Lights Out grabbed the initial lead with three runs in the top of the first. Bryant cut it to 3-2 in the home half of the inning on hits by Heidelberg, Davis and Brown.
Down 4-2, Bryant’s first big inning commenced with a one-out hit by Chism. Jackson followed with a double and, with two down, Fischer and Taylor cracked singles to bring up the top of the batting order. Doubles by Speer, Heidelberg and McCoy did the rest of the damage.
Lights Out chipped three runs off the margin in the top of the third, making it 8-7. After holding Bryant in the bottom of the third, a four-run fourth put LO ahead again.
Bryant’s second six-run outburst began with doubles by Thomason and Chism. With two down, Fischer and Taylor came through again with hits, setting the table for Speer, who cleared it with a triple. Heidelberg singled him in and base hits by McCoy and Davis capped off the frame, setting up the dramatic finish.
Bryant 6U, Lights Out 4
In the previous meeting, Bryant pushed across six runs in each of the first two innings, building a 12-0 lead that was never threatened. Lights Out managed a run in the home second but Bryant scored twice in the top of the third. And when Lights Out got three in the bottom of the inning, Bryant put the game out of reach with three in the top of the fourth.
The first inning started with a bang as Speer doubled and Heidelberg tripled. McCoy and Davis followed with singles before Davis and Brown whacked back-to-back doubles. Martin singled and scored the sixth run on a two-bagger from Thomason.
Chism started the second with a single and doubles by Jackson and Allen followed. With one away, Taylor and Speer roped consecutive doubles and Heidelberg cracked his second triple of the game. He would score the sixth run of the inning on a single by McCoy.
The two-run third featured singles by Davis, Thomason and Chism along with a double by Martin.
In the fourth, Allen singled but was forced at second on a grounder by Fischer. Taylor revved things up again with a single and, with two down, hits by Heidelberg and McCoy gave Bryant the insurmountable lead (with a six-run maximum per inning).
Bryant 6U 26, Benton 25
In a slugfest, Bryant had three maximum innings and Benton two.
Benton opened the game with a five-run burst trumped by Bryant’s first six-run inning.
Bryant’s frame began with a one-out triple by Heidelberg. McCoy, Davis and Brown followed with consecutive singles and, with one out, Chism, Thomason, Jackson and Allen strung together hits that completed the onslaught.
In the second, Benton got the six and Bryant answered with five to make it 11-11. For Bryant, Martin, Taylor and Speer rapped consecutive singles. Heidelberg picked up an RBI when he bounced into a force a second. Base hit by McCoy, Davis and Brown produced runs. Another came home when Fischer grounded into a force at second. Chism got the fifth run in with a base hit.
Benton posted another six-run frame in the top of the third but Bryant matched that in the home half. This time, Jackson, Allen and Martin opened with base hits. With one out, Speer and Heidelberg followed up with singles before McCoy belted a home run to make it 17-17.
The difference-maker may have come in the fourth when Bryant held Benton to three then, in the bottom half, put together another max inning. Benton couldn’t manage to record and out in the Bryant fourth. Davis, Brown and Fischer singled before Chism drilled a double. Base hits from Thomason, Jackson and Allen made it 23-20.
Benton regained the lead in the top of the fifth, chasing in five runs. But Bryant got the third out forcing their rivals to strand runners at first and second.
In the bottom of the inning, Allen opened with a single. He was forced at second on a grounder to short by Fischer but Taylor kept the inning going with a base hit. With two down, Heidelberg and McCoy came through with the hits that made Bryant a winner.