Bryant 8’s capture District tournament crown

HOT SPRINGS — In a rematch with the Benton All-Stars, the Bryant Stars jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first inning and made it hold up for a 6-4 win to capture the championship of the 8-and-under District Tournament Monday night.

Bryant will represent the District at the State tournament at Sherwood starting July 9. The team will play in a tournament at Lakewood this weekend to keep sharp in the meantime.

The Bryant 8’s, managed by Clint Hilson with assistance from Mike Meaders and Bill Drennan, include Cade Drennan,
 Hayden Hilson,
 Colton Kilgore,
 Rhett James, 
Tyler Larue, 
Braydan Lester,
 Trey McKim,
 Jake Meaders,
 Riley Morales, 
Josh Prather,
 Shane Small and 
Gage Stark.[more]

Bryant had defeated Benton in the winners bracket final 12-3 on Sunday. Benton came back to win the losers bracket final to set up the rematch.

“It was really just a great defensive game for both teams,” Coach Hilson said. “It was kind of a contrast from the previous night when there was a lot of offense and not much defense. It was a different night.

“I’m proud of them, I really am,” he added. “They’re tough kids and they deserved to win it.”

Bryant’s opening blitz began with a one-out single by Hayden Hilson. He advanced to second on an errant throw. Larue’s base hit put runners at the corners but Drennan’s fly was caught and it wasn’t deep enough for Hilson to score.

On one of the few errors of the game, James reached and Hilson scored the first run. McKim then drilled a two-run double.

Another run scored on Meadors’ single then, when Kilgore reached on a Benton miscue, the fifth run came across the plate.

Benton whittled a run off the margin in the bottom of the second but Bryant got that one right back in the top of the third. Lester got things started with a single. An out later, Larue beat out a bunt for a hit. Drennan bounced into a fielder’s choice but James lashed a single to make it 5-1.

Though Bryant was unable to get much going after that, Benton kept the pressure on with a run in the fourth. The game went to the sixth with Bryant clinging to a 6-2 lead.

In the home half of the sixth, Benton put together a double, an RBI single and a run-scoring double. But it was only good for narrowing the gap as Meaders fielded a grounder at short and threw him out to end the game and begin the championship celebration.


  1. Bill Drennan

    These guys are tough and very talented! It is a pleasure to work with them as well as these coaches. Great team! Congrats to the boys!! They’ve worked extremely hard for several weeks to prepare.

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