EDITOR'S NOTE: All youth teams are welcome to submit scorebooks with rosters to firstname.lastname@example.org for game reports.
MAUMELLE — The Bryant 7-and-under tournament team reeled off four straight wins to get to[more] the championship game of the Maumelle Mayor’s Cub NIT on May 18-19 before running into the Twin City Outlaws of Texarkana. The Outlaws edged Bryant 8-7 to take the title.
To get to the finals, Bryant defeated Easton Elite, 13-4, and Cabot Mayhem, 18-3, on Saturday. Sunday, the Bryant team downed the Benton Panthers, 14-1, and the Maumelle Bulldogs, 11-2.
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 8, Bryant 7
Trailing 6-1, Bryant rallied for five runs in the fourth to tie the game. Then, after the Outlaws snapped the tie in the bottom of the fourth, Bryant tied it again in the top of the fifth. But, in the home sixth, the Texarkana team scored to win it.
Catton, Hunt, Stovall and Brower each had two hits for Bryant.
The Outlaws took a 3-0 lead in the first and added a run in the second before Bryant got on the board with a run in the top of the third. Stovall singled to left to open the inning. He moved up on a groundout by Palmer then scored on a clutch two-out double to center by Brower.
But Twin City countered with two more runs in the bottom of the inning.
Bryant’s big rally in the top of the fourth began with singles from Catton and Nagle. With one out, Hunt’s base hit chased home Catton. Johnson drove in Nagle with a single to center and Kemp followed with an infield hit that loaded the bases. A two-out single by Stovall made it 6-4 then Palmer drilled a hit to left that plated two, tying it up.
A triple and a two-out single put the Outlaws back on top on the bottom of the fourth but Bryant knotted it up again when Brower singled, advanced to second on an errant throw, took third on Hughes’ groundout and scored on a bouncer to second by Catton.
Bryant turned a doubleplay in the bottom of the inning to send it to the sixth. But a one-out single by Hunt was all they could muster in the top of the seventh.
Twin City won it with a pair of one-out hits.
Bryant 11, Maumelle Bulldogs 2
A seven-run third blew open a 4-1 game and Bryant won in four innings in the tourney semifinals.
Bryant hacked out 15 hits including two each by Catton, Horn, Johnson, and Kemp.
A four-run first gave Bryant the upper hand initially. Catton singled to open the inning and scored after Nagle’s base hit and a throwing error that also allowed Nagle to circle the bases. Horn ripped a drive to right for a home run to make it 3-0. With one out, Johnson singled and scored after an error on Kemp’s first hit.
Maumelle managed a run in the top of the second before Bryant unloaded in the bottom of the third. Base hits by Hughes and Catton produced the first run. Horn ripped a double and Hunt cracked a triple as the lead ballooned to 7-1.
Johnson singled in Hunt. After Kemp got a knock, McClellan picked up an RBI on a groundout to second. Stovall’s single brought Kemp in before hits by Palmer and Crawford loaded the bases for Brower, whose RBI single capped the inning.
The Bulldogs scratched out a run in the top of the fourth to set the final score.
Bryant 14, Benton Panthers 1
A six-run first put Bryant on the road to the rout of their Saline County rivals, who were shut out until the top of the fourth. By then Bryant had built a 14-0 lead.
Hughes, Brower, McClellan, Johnson, Horn and Catton each had two hits for Bryant with Horn driving in four runs.
Horn’s first RBI came on a double in the first after Catton and Nagle had singled. With one out, Johnson drove in two with a base hit, advancing to second on the throw home. Kemp doubled him in then McClellan slugged an inside-the-park homer to make it 6-0.
In the second, Brower singled and Hughes doubled. Both held when Catton beat out an infield hit and, with the bases full, Nagle hit a grounder to second to plate a run. Horn followed with an inside-the-park homer to make it 10-0. And when Hunt tripled and scored on a single by Johnson, it was 11-0.
Bryant’s three-run third closed out the scoring, with a twist at the end. McClellan singled and Stovall doubled to set up the inning. Palmer’s base hit made it 12-0 then Brower knocked in two. Hughes followed with a grounder to second that moved Brower to second when the throw there was too late. But the Benton coaches protested, actually asking Brower if he was out. Benton won the appeal and, after Catton bounced out, the inning was over.
The Panthers strung together three hits in the top of the fourth to produce their lone run.
Bryant 18, Cabot Mayhem 3
Bryant scored six runs in each of the three innings of the game to bury Cabot, racking up 22 hits including three each by Kemp, Johnson, Hunt, Horn and Catton.
The Mayhem actually grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first but Bryant’s first six-run outburst commenced in the bottom of the frame with a single by Catton. He was forced at second on a grounder by Nagle but then Horn tripled to chase home the first run and Hunt belted an inside-the-park homer.
Johnson kept the uprising going with a single. Kemp doubled and McClellan chased both home with a triple. He would score the sixth run on a single by Palmer.
The second-inning onslaught got going with singles by Hughes, Catton and Nagle, which produced a run. Horn singled in Catton and Hunt knocked in Nagle and Hunt with a base hit to center. After Kemp’s single, McClellan drove in the sixth run of the frame with a base hit to left.
Before time ran out, Bryant scored six more in the third, capped by Kemp’s two-run homer. Johnson, Horn and Catton drove in runs earlier in the inning.
Bryant 13, Easton Elite 4
Bryant exploded for seven runs in the second and six in the third to make it a lopsided win after Easton had built a 3-0 lead.
Kemp produced three hits in the game and Crawford drove in five. Along with Catton, Nagle, Horn, Hunt, Palmer and Brower, Crawford had two hits.
The Elite scored a run in the first and two in the second to establish the early lead. Bryant surged into the lead in the home second, loading the bases on singles by Kemp, McClellan and Stovall to set the table for Palmer, who doubled in two. Crawford followed with a three-run inside-the-park homer to give Bryant the lead, 5-3.
Brower’s double revved up the offense again. Singles by Hughes and Catton loaded the bases for Nagle, who slugged a double to drive in Brower and Hughes.
Easton was unable to score in the top of the third and Bryant put the game away in the bottom of the inning. Horn singled and scored on Hunt’s double. Johnson’s single made it 9-3.
Singles by Kemp and Palmer make it 10-3 then Crawford came through with a two-run double. Brower’s single produced the final run.