By Madison McEntire
SHERWOOD — Bryant’s all-star baseball season is underway with exciting tournaments being played. The eight-year-old team played in a Father’s Day tournament in Sylvan Hills on June 19-21 and came away with the championship. In the finals, they outlasted the host team, 16-15.
The Bryant 8-year-old All-Stars, coached by Michael Catton, include Logan Catton, Logan Chambers, Jake Cowell, Tristan Day, Cade Dupree, Logan Grant, Cobe Greiner, Sawyer Holt, Ryan Lessenberry, Nathan McFarland, Will McEntire and Garett Nguyen.
The team will compete at the District Tournament at Hot Springs Boys Club beginning June 26, opening against Hot Springs. State will commence July 10 at Sherwood with Regionals in Lake Village beginning July 30.[more]
In Saturday’s pool play, Bryant's eight-year-old All Star team suffered a surprising 8-3 defeat to Hamburg in the first game before rebounding to win their next two, a 13-1 victory over Little Rock Junior Deputy and a 16-6 win against Sylvan Hill's 7 and 8 year old team.
Despite the loss, the All-Stars advanced to the four-team tournament on Sunday and earned the top seed in their pool because they allowed the fewest runs of the three teams that finished with a 2-1 record in their pool.
In the semifinals on Sunday, the All-Star cruised to a virtually effortless 9-1 win over Monticello and then squared off for the championship against the Sylvan Hills Bombers, an 8-year old All-Star team.
The Bombers jumped out with five runs in the top of the first inning but Bryant rallied to tie the score in the bottom of the inning, getting four of the runs after two outs.
Sylvan Hills immediately went back ahead with three runs in the top of the second before Bryant rallied to within 9-8 after three innings. The Bombers tacked on three more in each of the next two innings and led 15-9 entering the bottom of the fifth, although it would have been more had a Bomber player not been called out to end the inning on an appeal play for missing third base.
Bryant started its comeback when Nathan McFarland led off the bottom of the fifth by hitting an inside-the-park home run to left field. Will McEntire, Garrett Nguyen, Sawyer Holt, and Jake Cowell all reached base and scored to get Bryant to within 15-14 before Logan Grant ended the inning with a bases-loaded popup to the second baseman.
In the top of the sixth, Bryant held the Bombers scoreless with the key play being made by outfielder Logan Catton as he fielded a single to right center and threw to second base for a force out for the first out of the inning.
In the bottom of the frame, Logan Chambers led off with a single. Following a popup by McFarland, Cade Dupree reached on a dropped throw by the first baseman, with Chambers advancing to third. McEntire followed with a groundout to second base, which scored the tying run and moved Dupree into scoring position. Nguyen then singled hard to left with Dupree being forced to stop at third. Colby Greiner then stepped up and lined a pitch over the left center fielder's head to give the Bryant All-Stars their first lead of the game and a 16-15 win.