Bryant 7’s finish second in Triple Crown finale

BENTON — After splitting two games in pool play, the Bryant 7U tournament team earned[more] a pair of wins in bracket play as a No. 4 seed, making it to the championship game before absorbing a 12-7 loss to the Twin City Outlaws of Texarkana in the third let of the annual Wally Hall-Everett Buick GMC Triple Crown Tournament of Champions in Benton over the weekend.

In pool play, Bryant defeated the Easton Elite, 14-3 on Friday, May 24. On Saturday, the team suffered a 10-2 loss to the Arkansas Storm of Jonesboro. In bracket play on Sunday, a 14-0 win over the Cabot Mayhem put Bryant in the semifinals against the rival Benton Panthers, whom they ousted 111-3 to set up the title match.

The team, which is coached by Kevin Nagle with assistance from Jeremy Stovall and Richard Palmer, includes Brady Brower, Reid Catton, Clay Crawford, Gage Horn, Aiden Hughes, Dylan Hunt, Grant Johnson, Carson Kemp, Julius McClellan, C.J. Nagle, Aden Palmer and Caden Stovall.

Twin City Outlaws 12, Bryant 7

Bryant battled back from a 5-3 deficit to tie the game in the top of the fourth but the Outlaws regained the lead with two in the bottom of the inning then took control with a five-run fifth. Bryant put together a rally in the top of the sixth but it fell short.

Catton, Nagle, Hunt, Stovall and Brower each had two hits for Bryant, which took a 1-0 lead in the top of the opening inning. Catton and Nagle set the table with lead-off singles. Horn grounded into a force at third but Nagle eventually scored on an error.

Twin City countered with a four-run uprising that Bryant commenced to whittle down in the top of the second. Consecutive singles by McClellan, Stovall and Brower loaded the bases for Palmer, who singled in a run. Stovall came home when Crawford bounced into a force at third, making it 4-3.

The Outlaws added a run in the bottom of the second but Bryant got it back in the top of the third. Again Catton and Nagle instigated things with lead-off singles. Kemp grounded into a force at second and Catton scored when the relay to first went awry.

And when Bryant held Twin City scoreless in the bottom of the inning, it led to the 5-5 tie when Hunt tripled and scored on Stovall’s groundout in the top of the fourth.

The Outlaws' two-run fourth might have been worse but Bryant effectively executed a rundown play.

After the Twin City uprising in the bottom of the fifth, Bryant’s comeback attempt began with singles by Horn and Kemp. Johnson followed with a hit but Horn was thrown out at the plate. A base hit by Hunt drove in Kemp and Johnson scored on McClellan’s groundout. Stovall singled but Twin City ended it there.

Bryant 11, Benton 3

Bryant ran up an 8-0 lead going into the bottom of the third and kept Benton scoreless in all but one inning. A four-run fifth put the game out of reach.

Catton and Hunt each went 3 for 3 in the game, while Hunt and Stovall drove in three runs apiece. Palmer, McClellan, Kemp and Horn contributed two hits each.

A five-run first put Bryant on the road to victory. Catton and Horn each singled ahead of a double by Kemp. Hunt then cleared the bases with a triple and scored on a hit by McClellan, who eventually scored as well.

Crawford scored in the second after his one-out single. Catton’s two-out hit drove him in.

In the third, Kemp singled, Johnson doubled and Hunt drove in a run with a base hit. A single by McClellan loaded the bases for Stovall who bounced into a force at third as Johnson scored to make it 8-0.

Benton rallied for three in the bottom of the third but, again, the Bryant defense came through with a doubleplay that included another well-executed rundown.

It stayed 7-3 until the top of the fifth when McClellan singled in a run and Stovall doubled in a pair to end the game.

Bryant 14, Cabot Mayhem 0

By scoring the seven-run maximum in both the first and third, Bryant made quick work of the Cabot team. Nagle, Kemp, Hunt, Stovall and Brower cracked two hits each.

The seven-run first began with singles from Catton and Nagle and a triple by Horn. Kemp singled him in and, after Johnson bounced into a force at second, Hunt got things going again with a base hit to left. McClellan reached on an error that allowed both Johnson and Hunt to sprint home. With McClellan holding at third, Stovall reached second. Both scored on Brower’s knock.

The third-inning salvo commenced with a single by Nagle. Though he was forced at second on Horn’s grounder, Kemp came through with a triple and scored on Johnson’s base hit. A double by Hunt and hits by McClellan and Stovall produced two more runs. Brower singled in a run and Palmer capped off the frame with a base hit.

Defensively, the Bryant effort was highlighted by a doubleplay in the first and a pair of fine catches in the outfield by Palmer in the second.

Arkansas Storm 10, Bryant 2

Bryant fell behind 5-0 through three innings but made a bid to get back in the game with a two-run fourth. But the Storm put the game out of reach with a five-run fifth.

Crawford, Kemp, Johnson and Nagle each had two hits for Bryant but four players for the Jonesboro team went 3 for 3.

The Storm scored four in the first and one in the third. Johnson saved runs in the second with a diving catch in the outfield.

Bryant’s uprising in the top of the fourth began with a single by Nagle. With one out, Johnson cracked a hit to left, sending Nagle to third. Kemp then chased both home with a triple but was stranded at third as the Storm escaped with a 5-2 lead.

Bryant pulled a doubleplay in the bottom of the fourth to keep that score intact but the Storm’s fifth-inning outburst followed.

Bryant 14, Easton Elite 3

Bryant led just 3-1 after two innings but maxed out the third to blow the game open. The 21-hit attack included three each form Horn and Johnson. Nagle, Kemp, McClellan, Brower, Palmer and Crawford finish with two apiece.

Hits by Horn, Nagle and Johnson produced a run in the first. In the second, McClellan tripled and scored on Brower’s hit. After Stovall bounced into a force out, hits by Palmer and Crawford brought Stovall around to make it 3-0.

Easton posted a run in the bottom of the second before Bryant began its third-inning onslaught with an inside-the-park home run by Horn. Singles by Nagle and Johnson set up Kemp, who doubled in a run. Another score on a groundout by McClellan before Brower doubled to make it 7-1.

Stovall knocked in Brower and, after Palmer singled in Stovall, Crawford ended it with an RBI single to left.

The Elite whittled a run off the margin in the bottom of the third before Bryant tacked on four more in the top of the fourth.

Hughes, Catton and Horn had hits to fill the bases for Nagle, who delivered a sacrifice fly. Johnson doubled in a run and Kemp plated two with a single to wrap it up.

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