SHERWOOD — The Bryant 8-year-old All-Stars ran roughshod over the first two opponents at[more] the State Tournament at Sylvan Hills on Saturday. They opened with a 15-1 romp over Hazen then buried Lake Village, 16-0.
They were set to take on the Little Rock Junior Deputy 7-year-old team as the tourney continued on Sunday.
The 8-year-old team, headed up by Joey Small, is Luke Bickerstaff, Dawson Brown, Drake Brown, Tucker Dunn, Braxton Fischer, Matthew Griffe, Mason Lucas, Tanner Newell, Logan Owen, Alex Skelley, Chase Small, Dylan Stroud and Daniel Taylor.
The team has been playing games with live pitching but the 8-and-under State Tourney is a pitching machine event and Bryant has been taking advantage. In the opener, they scored five in the first, six in the second and four in the third while holding Hazen to a single second-inning tally.
Against Lake Village, a six-run first and a seven-run third were the big outbursts that made the difference.
And Bryant played sparkling defense holding Hazen to four hits and Lake Village to just one.
Griffe, one of seven Bryant players who had two hits in the game against Hazen, drove in five runs. Owen had four RBIs. Both slugged home runs as did Lucas. Griffe blasted another homer in the win over Lake Village. Six more Bryant players had two hits with Dunn driving in three runs with a triple and a double.
Bryant 15, Hazen 1
After retiring the side on three infield grounders in the top of the first, Bryant piled up five in the bottom of the inning with Griffe’s three-run shot providing the highlight. Lucas had opened the inning with a single. He stole second and scored on Bickerstaff’s base hit. After Bickerstaff swiped second, Small singled to send him to third. Moments later, Griffe unloaded the make it 4-0.
Newell got things restarted with a double and, with one out, Taylor lined a single to right to chase him home.
Hazen used a double and an error to plate its run in the top of the second then Bryant’s blitz continued with Dunn cracking a one-out triple and Owen blasting his homer to right.
Fischer beat out an infield hit and so did Skelley in advance of Lucas’ bomb to left, which made it 10-1.
Bickerstaff and Small singled and scored on Griffe’s triple but the run-limit for the inning counted just one of those, making it 11-1 going into the third.
Bryant put the finishing touches on the rout in the home third. Newell singled and scored on Stroud’s triple. Taylor singled him in and, after Drake Brown singled, Owen laced his triple to left to make it 15-1.
Bryant 16, Lake Village 0
Again, Bryant set down the opposition quickly in the top of the first then began the onslaught in the home half. Lucas doubled and Bickerstaff singled him to third to get the inning going. Small’s double plated them both. Consecutive doubles by Griffe, Newell and Stroud made it 5-0 in short order.
With two down, Drake Brown singled in the sixth tally.
After another 1-2-3 inning for Lake Village, Bryant’s three-run second began with a double by Dunn and an RBI single from Owen. Fischer’s groundout got Owen to third and he scored on Skelley’s infield hit. After Skelley swiped second with two out, Bickerstaff drilled an RBI single to make it 10-0.
Lake Village managed its lone hit with two down in the third, an infield hit. Bryant then put the finishing touches on the victory in the home half, starting with Griffe’s solo shot to center.
Newell’s double was followed by an infield hit by Stroud. Another infield knock by Taylor loaded the bases for Dawson Brown who singled in a run and Drake Brown who added an RBI hit. Dunn capped things off with a three-run triple to right.