SHERWOOD — The Bryant 8-year-old All-Stars lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to Little Rock Junior Deputy in their[more] opener in the Sylvan Hills Firecracker tournament over the weekend but battled back with a pair of wins over Stuttgart 13-0 and 13-1 to get back to the semifinals. With a win over the Bryant 7’s, 11-1, they got another shot at the Little Rock team in the championship round. But, once again, Little Rock prevailed, this time 10-4 to capture the title.
The tourney was a tune-up for the teams, which will be playing in the State Tournament starting this Friday, July 6, at the Sherwood park.
The Bryant 8's players include Evan Barrett, Gavin Burton, Luke Dreher, Caleb Greiner, Drew Hatman, Conner Martin, Logan McDonald, Colby Morrow, Cade Parker, J.T. Parker, Turner Seelinger, Hayden Thompson, Logan White. The team is managed by Jason Greiner with assistance from Ryan Martin and Jeremy Morrow.
Little Rock Junior Deputy 10, Bryant 4
Bryant held a 4-3 edge after two innings but couldn’t dent the plate after that as Junior Deputy rallied for three runs in the third and four in the fifth to claim the tourney title.
Bryant took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Dreher singled with one out but was thrown out trying to steal. Cade Parker kept the inning alive, however, with a base hit to center. Burton singled then Barrett plugged the gap in left-center for an RBI double.
Little Rock answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning but Bryant countered with three of its own in the top of the second. Thompson got the inning going with a base hit. Greiner singled to drive him home. With one out, Morrow smacked a double to right to make it 3-1. Hatman beat out an infield hit then Morrow scored when McDonald grounded into a force at second but hustled and beat the return throw to first to avoid the doubleplay.
Bryant held Junior Deputy in the bottom of the second but was unable to add to the margin in the top of the third. And the Little Rock team surged to the victory.
Bryant 8’s 11, Bryant 7’s 1
The 8’s, who defeated the 7’s in the District Tournament championship the previous weekend, scored in every inning and held their counterparts to a single run in the third inning in the semifinal.
The 7’s are Logan Owen, Logan Hope, Daniel Taylor, Alex Skelly, Reece Rowland, Mason Lucas, Braxton Fischer, Dylan Stroud, Tucker Dunn, Drake Brown, Matthew Griffe, Chase Small. Joey Small manages the team with assistance from Jonathan Hope and Michael Stroud.
A two-run first got the 8-year-old team ahead right away. Martin singled then doubles by Dreher and Cade Parker produced the runs.
In the second, J.T. Parker singled to right and scored when Thompson launched an 0-1 pitch for a home run to center.
A third-inning uprising began with a one-out single to White. With two away, Martin and Dreher singled before Cade Parker drilled a two-run triple to make it 7-0.
The 7’s got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Owen doubled, advanced on Taylor’s grounder to first and scored when Rowland singled up the middle. Fischer grounded into a force at second then Small flew out to right to end the threat, however.
A four-run fourth capped off the win for the 8’s. Barrett and J.T. Parker singled to set the stage for Thompson’s triple to left. Greiner singled him in and, after McDonald singled him to third, he scored when Morrow grounded out.
The 7’s made a bid at a comeback when Hope and Brown singled to start the bottom of the fourth but Hope was tagged out trying to steal and, after a base hit by Stroud, Griffe lined into a game-ending doubleplay.
Bryant 8’s 13, Stuttgart 1
Bryant scratched out a run in the first but then exploded for the maximum of six in the second and third to make quick work of Stuttgart, which got its lone run in the top of the third.
The first-inning run for Bryant was produced by hits from Dreher and Burton.
The second-inning outburst started with one out. Thompson singled and scored on a hit by Greiner. McDonald and Morrow ripped RBI doubles and Hatman, White and Seelinger belted consecutive RBI hits.
Up 7-1 going into the home third, Bryant dashed any doubts about the outcome. Martin singled and scored on Dreher’s hit. With one out, Burton belted a home run to make it 10-1. Barrett kept the outburst going with a single. In turn, J.T. Parker, Thompson and Greiner followed with RBI hits to complete the scoring.
Bryant 13, Stuttgart 0
In a game in which Stuttgart was unable to get a base-runner past second, Bryant gained control with six runs in the bottom of the first. Martin singled and was doubled home by Dreher. Cade Parker singled then followed Dreher home on Burton’s hit. Barrett singled in a run then J.T. Parker doubled and Thompson singled to complete the inning.
Stuttgart recorded the first Bryant out to start the second but McDonald doubled and scored on a triple by Morrow. Hatman grounded out to plate Morrow, making it 8-0.
A final five-run inning put the game away for Bryant. Singles from Martin and Dreher started the inning and both raced home on a triple by Cade Parker. Burton singled him in then base hits by Barrett, Greiner and McDonald added to the scoring. When Morrow singled in a run, Bryant had its 13-0 advantage.
Little Rock Junior Deputy 2, Bryant 1
In a splendid defensive game, Bryant took a 1-0 lead in the first and it held until Little Rock rallied for two in the fifth. Bryant threatened to score in the bottom of the fifth and got a runner to second in the sixth but couldn’t manage the key hit to drive in another run.
The first-inning tally came on two-out hits to Cade Parker and Burton. Parker was able to score before Burton was tagged out trying to stretch his hit into a double.
Barrett managed a lead-off single in the second to no avail. After being retired in order in the third, Bryant put a pair of runners on in the fourth when White and Seelinger singled. But, an out later, a grounder back to the pitcher resulted in a force at third then a grounder to short ended the inning.
Burton singled to start the fifth but was forced at second as Barrett reached base. With two down, Thompson beat out an infield hit but Junior Deputy got out of the jam with a tap to third.
Down to their last three outs, Bryant’s Stars got a man on with one out as Morrow singled. He got to second on Hatman’s tap to the pitcher but was stranded as Little Rock recorded the final out.