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CONWAY — The Bryant 8-year-old tournament team based at Bishop Park went 3-1 at the[more] 10-team AA Division tourney at City of Colleges Park over the weekend.
In pool play, the team whipped the Play Ball Arkansas Mayhem 15-4 and the EM Majors 13-4 on Saturday. In bracket play on Sunday, they ousted the Benton Panthers 13-1 before running into the Batesville Bad Dawgs in the semifinals. Batesville ended the Bryant run with a 9-6 win in a thriller.
The Bryant team, thus, finished third. Batesville went on to play the Arkansas Diamondbacks in the finals, falling 17-9.
The Bryant team, coached by Joey Small, includes Luke Bickerstaff, Drake Brown, Tucker Dunn, Braxton Fischer, Matt Griffe, Mason Lucas, Tanner Newell, Logan Owen, Reece Rowland, Alex Skelley, Chase Small, Dylan Stroud and Daniel Taylor.
Bryant 15, Mayhem 4
The Mayhem scored all their runs in one inning, trimming a 5-0 Bryant lead to 5-4. But Bryant continued to score posting three more runs in the fourth and finishing with a five-spot in the fifth.
Chase Small, Griffe, Newell and Skelley each had three hits in the game as Bryant piled up 25.
The game was tight early. Bryant took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI double by Newell. Small had singled then was forced at second on a grounder to short by Dunn. Griffe singled ahead of Newell’s hit.
In the second, doubles by Brown and Skelley plated a second run.
Griffe, Newell and Lucas had doubles in the third as the lead grew to 5-0.
After Play Ball Arkansas scored its four runs in the bottom of the third, Bryant added three in the top of the fourth. Owen got it going with a one-out double. Skelley singled and, with two down, Fischer doubled in a run then Bickerstaff and Small each singled to bring in a tally.
After the Mayhem were unable to score in the bottom of the inning, Bryant put up five in the fifth. Griffe singled then was forced at second on a grounder to short by Newell. Lucas singled then Stroud cracked a double to drive in the first run. Brown singled in Lucas and Stroud and Skelley drove in the final two with a base hit to left.
Bryant 13, EM Majors 4
Bickerstaff, Dunn, Stroud, Brown, Owen and Taylor each had two hits in the win. Bickerstaff drove in three runs. Brown and Owen knocked in two each.
Bryant fell behind 4-0 in the first but a six-run second erased that deficit and a seven-run third blew the game open.
The second-inning outburst commenced when Newell singled. Though he was forced at second on a grounder by Lucas, Stroud doubled and Brown singled to plate the first run. Owen beat out an infield hit and Taylor singled in Brown. A double by Fischer brought Owen in before Bickerstaff singled in two to give Bryant a 6-4 lead.
Dunn and Griffe got the big third-inning going with singles. With one out, Lucas singled in a pair. Stroud kept the line moving with a base hit as Lucas scored. Brown singled and Owen doubled in two, making it 10-4.
Skelley knocked in Owen and, after Taylor beat out an infield hit, Bickerstaff capped off the inning with an RBI single.
Bryant 13, Benton 1
On Sunday, Bryant picked up where it left off, hitting the rival Benton team with seven runs in the first inning and building a 12-0 lead before Benton got on the board.
Small, Dunn, Griffe, Newell, Lucas, Stroud, Skelley and Taylor each had two hits in the contest.
Benton failed to score in the top of the first. In the home half, Bryant’s initial outburst began with a one-out double by Small. Dunn traded places with him, hitting a two-bagger to left. Griffe singled and took second on a throw that held Dunn at third but Newell burned the center fielder for a two-run triple.
Lucas singled in Newell and, after Stroud’s base hit, Brown cleared the bases with a triple to make it 6-0. Owen’s single finished off the onslaught.
After Benton was retired 1-2-3 in the top of the second, Skelley started another Bryant uprising with a single. Taylor bounced into a force at second but Fischer cracked a single to left to set the table for Bickerstaff who doubled to make it 8-0.
Small singled in Fischer. Bickerstaff scored on Dunn’s single and when Griffe doubled in a pair, it was 12-0.
Benton managed a run in the top of the third by stringing together four singles but Taylor tripled to drive in Skelley with an answering score in the bottom of the inning. Skelley had doubled with two down.
Batesville 9, Bryant 6
A three-run fourth snapped a 6-6 tie and Batesville made that hold up for the victory, keeping Bryant off the board in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
The seesaw contest began with Batesville grabbing a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Bryant countered with three in the home half. Bickerstaff singled, took third on Small’s double and scored on a groundout by Dunn. With two down, Small tagged and scored on a sacrifice fly by Griffe to put Bryant on top.
Newell and Lucas kept the inning going with base hits. Stroud knocked in Newell with an infield hit, making it 3-1.
Batesville regained the advantage in the top of the second, scoring four times. Bryant tied it in the bottom half. Owen singled and scored on Taylor’s double to left. Fischer reached on an infield grounder as Taylor held at second but Bickerstaff’s base hit brought him around to knot it up.
Again, Batesville regained the lead with a run in the top of the third only to have Bryant tie it in the bottom of the inning when Griffe tripled and scored on a single by Newell.
Batesville pushed three runs in with a fourth-inning uprising and, this time, Bryant was unable to counter. The Dawgs set down six straight batters before Small doubled to start the sixth. Batesville escaped the sixth to claim the victory.