BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. — After sweeping their three games in pool play, the Bryant 8-year-old[more] All-Stars eliminated the rival Sylvan Hills All-Stars at the Southwest Regional Tournament on Sunday, July 21. That put them in the quarterfinals of single-elimination championship bracket play where they ran into Oak Grove, Miss., which ended their quest for the title with an 11-4 loss.
The Bryant 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.
Bryant 6, Sylvan Hills 4
After falling behind 4-0 in the top of the first, Bryant rallied to tie it going into the third inning. While shutting out Sylvan Hills the rest of the game, Bryant scored twice in the third to take the lead for good.
Sylvan Hills only managed one base-runner after the first.
Taylor, Griffe and Bickerstaff had two hits each. Griffe drove in three runs.
In answer to the four-run burst by Sylvan Hills in the top of the first, Bryant’s three-run rally began with a one-out single by Taylor, who stole second and reached third on Small’s single. Small swiped second and both of them scored when Griffe drilled a single to center.
With two down, Stroud cracked a single to center to drive in Griffe, who had moved to second on a sacrifice by Newell. Bickerstaff singled to put runners at first and second but Sylvan Hills got out of the inning at that point.
In the second, however, Bryant tied it when, with two down, Fischer singled, stole second and scored on Skelley’s double.
Lucas legged out an infield hit to start the go-ahead uprising in the third. He stole second and took third when Taylor beat out an infield hit. Taylor took second to get into scoring position for Small who picked up an RBI with a grounder to third. Griffe knocked in Taylor with a single to center.
Orange Grove, Miss., 11, Bryant 4
Bryant appeared to be headed to a 4-0 win after three innings but Oak Grove broke out with six runs in the fourth and five more in the fifth and it proved too much to overcome.
Lucas had two of Bryant’s seven hits in the game. Dunn drove in two of the runs.
While holding the Mississippi team scoreless over the first three innings, Bryant took a 3-0 lead in the second. Griffe singled to left and moved up on a sacrifice by Newell. He took third when Stroud bounced out then scored on a hit by Bickerstaff.
Drake Brown doubled and when Dunn smacked a two-bagger, it chased in two runs.
Bryant added a run in the third. Skelley singled, took second on Dawson Brown’s grounder and third on Owen’s sacrifice, setting the table for Lucas’ RBI single to left to make it 4-0.
But the six-run fourth for Oak Grove took the starch out of the Bryant team before the five-run fifth put the game out of reach.