SHERWOOD — With an 8-2 win over the Little Rock Junior Deputy All-Stars, the Bryant 8-and-under[more] Stars had fought their way back through the losers bracket to force a winner-take-all final on Wednesday at the 2012 South Arkansas Cal Ripken State Tournament. But Junior Deputy, which had sent Bryant to the losers bracket with a 9-6 setback in the second round of the tourney, came back in the “if” game to win the championship, 7-0.
Both teams will advance to Regionals to be held in Jonesboro starting July 20.
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.
Bryant 8, LR Junior Deputy 2
A four-run first put Bryant on the road to victory in the first game as the Stars reeled off consecutive hits by Dreher, Burton, Cade Parker, Thompson, Barrett to plate the first two runs. Though Cade Parker was thrown out trying to score, McDonald kept the inning going with a hit. Martin singled in a run then base hits by Greiner and White completed the scoring.
Junior Deputy managed a run in the bottom of the inning then neither team scored in the second. A run in the third cut Bryant’s lead to 4-2 and it stayed that way until the Stars put the game out of reach in the top of the sixth. Dreher singled and, with one out, Cade Parker ripped an RBI triple to right. Thompson singled him home then scored when Barrett stroked a three-bagger to make it 7-2. A two-out single from Martin plated Barrett to set the final score.
In the bottom of the sixth, Bryant retired the top three in the Little Rock lineup in order.
LR Junior Deputy 7, Bryant 0
After a scoreless first, Junior Deputy gained the upper hand with a three-run second. Two more scored in the third and another pair came in the fourth.
Meanwhile, after Dreher singled in the bottom of the first only to be forced at second, McDonald singled with one out in the second but was retired on a fielder’s choice. The Stars were set down in order in the third then tried to mount a rally in the fourth when J.T. Parker singled. But, with one out, he was thrown out trying to take second. Dreher singled and Burton beat out an infield hit but both were stranded.
A final bid to rally in the fifth started with a one-out single by Barrett. He was forced at second as McDonald reached. Martin beat out an infield hit but Junior Deputy ended it there.