Bryant 7’s ease to two wins to open 8-and-under State tourney

SHERWOOD — The Bryant 7-year-old All-Stars locked down defensively and out-scored their first two opponents at the 8-and-under State Tournament on Friday, 20-2.

They were set to continue on Saturday at 4 p.m., against host Sylvan Hills.

The Bryant team of 7-year-olds, managed by Matt Orender with assistance from Patrick Schroeder, includes Luke Bessire, Dakota Clay, Cooper Davis, Noah Davis, Peyton Dillon, Austin Ledbetter, Jaggar Littleton, Justin Orender, Brett Pennington, Austin Schroeder, Lawson Speer and Garrett Wilson.[more]

In the opener, Bryant gradually pulled away to win the game 10-0 in four innings. Warren only managed one base-runner on a lead-off single in the top of the third. He was, however, cut down trying to steal second on a strong throw by Cooper Davis to Pennington, the shortstop, covering the bag.

Bryant took a tentative 1-0 lead in the first, Noah Davis singled and stole his way to third before scoring on a base hit by Cooper Davis.

In the second, however, Orender singled and Wilson reached base then Dillon singled. Pennington got a run in with a bunt then Clay and Littleton cracked hits to make it 4-0.

Bryant then maxed out with six runs in the third. Bessire singled and was bunted to second by Noah Davis. Ledbetter, Cooper Davis, Schroeder and Orender followed with base hits to get the merry-go-round going. With two down, Dillon ripped a double and when Pennington followed with another two-bagger, it make it 10-0.

Likewise, the Lonoke Young Guns were unable to get much going on offense. In the top of the first, they managed a pair of singles but one runner was picked off and the other was forced out.

In the third, another pair of hits came to nothing and the trail runner was thrown out to end the inning.

Meanwhile, Bryant was building an 8-0 lead. In the first, Bessire got things rolling with a double. Noah Davis singled and stole second then scored on a two-bagger by Ledbetter who came around to score as well, making it 3-0.

In the second, Wilson singled and Dillon beat out a bunt for a hit. Clay added a base hit then Pennington got a run home with a squeeze bunt. Littleton and Speer singled then Bessire cracked a double, though he was thrown out trying to make it to third.

Noah Davis and Ledbetter each singled but were stranded. Still, Bryant had its 8-0 lead by then.

Lonoke put together a pair of doubles with two out in the fourth to gets its lone run only to have Bryant add on a pair in the bottom of the inning on doubles by Dillon and Clay then a two-out single by Speer.

Another pair of doubles in the fifth made it 10-2 but Lonoke wound up stranding runners at first and third as the game ended.

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