SHERWOOD — The Bryant Athletic Association All-Stars have advanced to the championship round of the Cal Ripken 8-and-under State Tournament after back-to-back wins on Sunday. Bryant handed defeats to Hamburg’s All-Stars, 9-4, and Benton’s All-Stars, 14-6.
With rain moving back some of the losers’ bracket contests, Bryant will probably have to wait to play the survivor on Tuesday. Ouachita County (Camden) is set to play an elimination game on Monday along with Crossett and Sylvan Hills. The winners of those two games will play each other for the right to face Benton in the losers’ bracket final. The survivor will play Bryant.
The Bryant team, coached by Greg Riggs, includes Cannon Chalmers, Carson Dozier, Gunner Frazier, Lynden Johnson, Asher King, Colten Lucas, Hunter Markham, Paxton Pringle, Max Rauth, Jaxon Riggs, Drew Tate-Lee and Jackson Trusty.
Bryant 9, Hamburg 4
Riggs, Trusty and Tate-Lee each went 3 for 3 in the first victory of the day. Trusty drove home three as well while Dozier knocked in two.
Bryant snapped a 1-1 tie with a six-run outburst in the bottom of the second. It was 8-1 when Hamburg pushed across two runs in the fourth. But Bryant got one more in the bottom of the inning and squelched a Hamburg rally in the top of the sixth.
Hamburg scored first in the top of the opening inning but, in the home half, Riggs singled, stole second, took third on a sacrifice bunt by Markham that resulted in a wild throw to first. Markham made it all the way to third but Riggs was thrown out at the plate. But Trusty ripped a double to left to chase in Markham with the tying run.
Hamburg loaded the bases in the top of the second but could not score setting up Bryant’s game-breaking inning.
Chalmers instigated the uprising with a double. He held at second as Lucas beat out an infield hit. They both moved up a base on Pringle’s groundout. Rauth drove in Lucas. Chalmers held up at third as Rauth hustled into second on the throw home.
With two down, Chalmers came home on a wild pitch then Riggs beat out an infield hit as Rauth held at second. Markham’s single loaded the bases for Trusty who doubled into left, driving home two. Two more scored on Doziers single, making it 7-1.
Hamburg had a couple of hits in the top of the third but came up empty. For Bryant, Tate-Lee singled to right and, with one out, Frazier doubled. Chalmers drove in the run with a fielder’s choice as Frazier was thrown out at third by the Hamburg shortstop.
A two-run double with one out in the top of the fourth trimmed the lead to 8-3. Bryant added its final run in the bottom of the inning on consecutive singles by Rauth, King and Riggs.
After Hamburg was unable to cut into the margin in the top of the fifth, Bryant threatened. Johnson singled but was forced out at second on grounder to the second baseman by Frazier. Chalmers grounded into another fielder’s choice then so did Lucas as the inning concluded.
Hamburg eked out a run in the top of the sixth but was unable to get more as Bryant closed out the win.
Bryant 14, Benton 6
After falling behind 6-0 in the first two innings, Bryant put a stop to Benton’s offense and mustered some of its own, scoring four in the third, four in the fourth to take the lead, and six in the fifth to blow the game open.
The third-inning burst began with an infield hit by Pringle with one out. Rauth singled to left then King beat out a bunt hit to fill the sacks. Riggs doubled in two then King scored on Markham’s groundout. Trusty’s base hit plated Riggs and Benton’s lead was trimmed to 6-4.
Benton threatened with a pair of singles in the bottom of the third but couldn’t push a run across the plate.
Tate-Lee drilled a single to right to get the fourth inning going. Johnson bounced into a force at second but Frazier lined a triple to make it 6-5. Chalmers singled him in and the game was tied.
An infield hit by Lucas set up Pringles RBI knock to put Bryant ahead for the first time in the game. Rauth made it 8-6 with an RBI single.
Bryant’s sixth began with a double by Riggs. Markham’s single chased him home. Trusty cracked a single to left before Dozier’s base hit drove in Markham.
Tate-Lee bounced into a force at third but Johnson came through with an RBI double to keep the carousel turning.
With two down, Chalmers doubled to left, knocking in Tate-Lee. Lucas singled in Johnson and, on an errant throw, went to second as Chalmers took third. Pringle capped off the scoring with an RBI single to center.
Benton started the bottom of the fifth with a single but the next three batters were retired to end the game.