Bryant 8s advance to championship round after going 5-0 in Regional pool play

By Madison McEntire

LAKE VILLAGE — The Bryant 8-year-old All-Stars swept their final three pool play games Saturday and Sunday to finish 5-0 and advance to the single-elimination tournament as the #1 seedfrom Pool 1.[more]

Bryant 13, Lakewood 5

The All-Stars struck quickly as leadoff hitter Triston Day reached second base on athrowing error by the Lakewood pitcher and advanced to third on a ground ball to first byLogan Chambers. He was then singled home by Nathan McFarland, who stole secondand raced all the way home as the throw went past second base and got by theoutfielders. Cade Dupree kept the rally going with a single and then stole second andmoved up to third on a ground out by Will McEntire. Logan Grant then singled inDupree, stole second and took third on a throwing error. Garrett Nguyen capped thescoring with a base hit to drive in Grant, giving Bryant a 4-0 lead.

The lead increased to 5-0 in the top of the second when Ryan Lessenberry singled,stole second and later scored on a hit by Day. The All-Stars stretched the lead to 7-0 inthe bottom of the third when McFarland reached on an error and scored on a single byMcEntire, who was later driven home by Nguyen.

Lakewood plated three men in thebottom of the frame to trim the lead to 7-3, but Bryant responded in their next at-bat withCoby Greiner, Logan Catton, Ryan Lessenberry, and Logan Chambers all reachingbase on singles and scoring to make the lead 11-3.

Lakewood scored two more in the bottom of the fourth to make it 11-5, before the All-Stars capped the scoring with two of their own. McEntire led off with a line drive to rightcenterthat skipped by the outfielder for a triple and two batters later he scored on atriple by Nguyen, who later crossed the plate when Greiner singled.

Bryant 15, Crossett 5

Crossett struck first when their first two batters of the game reached base and scored.Still trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the second, the All-Stars broke out for six runs.McEntire started the barrage with a single, Grant reached on an error, Nguyen singledin McEntire, followed by Jake Cowell who banged out a single to drive in Grant. AfterGreiner moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt, Catton singled home Nguyen, andthen Lessenberry reached on an error by the pitcher, with Cowell scoring on the play.Sawyer Holt reached on a bunt to load the bases and then Day hit a sacrifice fly to theshortstop and Catton tagged up and scored. Chambers finished off the scoring with asingle that scored Lessenberry.

After holding Crossett scoreless, Bryant extended their lead to 10-2. McFarlandsingled, swiped second, and moved up to third on a grounder to first by Dupree.McEntire’s hard grounder was mishandled by the second baseman, allowing him toreach first and McFarland to score. After McEntire stole second, Grant singled him tothird and took second on the throw. Cowell followed with a two-run single to right field,and then stole second and came in to score on a single by Greiner.

After the top of the Crossett order produced three runs in the top of the fourth to make it10-5, the All-Stars pushed five runs across the plate to run-rule them by the score of15-5. With one out, Holt singled and stole second. Day singled and was followed byChambers who rapped a single to score Holt and move Day to second. AfterMcFarland’s fly ball to right moved Day to third, Chambers swiped second base.Dupree then singled home both Day and Chambers and then moved to third whenMcEntire followed him with base hit to right-center and took second base on the throwto third. Grant ended the game when he reached on an error by the shortstop thatscored both Dupree and McEntire.

Bryant 17, Rison 0

The 8-year-old All-Stars capped off an impressive run through pool play with a 17-0drubbing of Rison. They started quickly in the top of the first inning as eight of the firstnine batters reached base by either hit or error and six of them came around to score.After being held scoreless in the top of the second, the assault continued in the third asthe heart of the order erupted for five more runs to stretch the lead to 11-0, with the bighits being a two-run double by McEntire and two-run triple by Nguyen. In the bottom ofthe fourth, Bryant plated six more as the bottom of order started the rally which saw thefirst eight batters reached base and the first six of them score to make the final 17-0.

Next up for the Bryant 8s is an eight-team, single-elimination tournament consisting ofthe top two teams from each of the four pools. As the #1 seed from Pool 1, Bryant willsquare off against Lucedale, Mississippi, the #2 seed from Pool 4, at 2:00 p.m. onMonday, August 3, with the winner advancing to face the winner of the Benton-Jonesboro game.

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