HOT SPRINGS — Battling back in the loser’s bracket after an tough opening loss to the Benton 8-year-old All-Stars, the Bryant 7’s ousted the Benton 7-8 All-Stars, 12-5, on Saturday then came back later in the day to knock out Pine Bluff North, 15-5.
The team was set to return to action with survival in the 8-and-under District Tournament on line today against the Pine Bluff Seabrook's 7-8 All-Stars.
The 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]
Details of the win over Pine Bluff North were unavailable but in the win over Benton, the Bryant Stars broke open a 5-5 game with six runs in the top of the fifth. They held Benton scoreless for the third inning in a row in the bottom of the fifth then added a run in the sixth to put the game out of reach.
Benton had held a 5-2 lead after two innings and it stayed that way until Bryant put together a three-run fourth to tie the game.
That uprising began with consecutive doubles by Wilson, Pennington, Schroeder and Cooper Davis though Davis was thrown out trying to stretch his into a triple.
Benton halted the scoring in the inning at that point. In the bottom of the inning, Bryant retired the first two before a single. But the runner was thrown out trying to steal, ending the inning on an exciting note.
And Bryant rode that to the game-breaking top of the fifth which began with a single by Orender. Bessire cracked a double ahead of a hit by Noah Davis. Trying to stretch the single into a double, Davis was thrown out at second but when Ledbetter singled the merry-go-round cranked up again.
Dillon singled and, after a double steal. Wilson got on and Pennington ripped a double. Schroeder and Clay added hits as Bryant reached the run limit for the inning to make it 11-5.
Benton put a couple of runners on base in the bottom of the fifth but couldn’t get them around so, when Bryant scored in the top of the sixth it made it impossible for Benton, with the six-run per inning limit, to come back.
Hits by Orender, Bessire and Noah Davis produced that final run.