Bryant 8U team opens tourney with a win before suffering two shutouts

EDITOR'S NOTE: All youth teams are welcome to submit scorebooks with rosters to for game reports.

BENTON — The Bryant 8-and-under tournament baseball team, playing in a pitching tournamentp[more] in the third leg of the Everett GMC Triple Crown at Holland Park, opened with a 9-6 win over the Saline County Cyclones on Saturday, May 4, but their bats were silenced by the Texarkana Young Guns in the second round and the Arkansas Elite in an elimination game on Sunday by identical 6-0 scores.

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 8U 9, Saline County Cyclones 6

Leading 4-2, Bryant scored five runs in the top of the fourth then held off a Cyclones rally for the win.

Dunn led the offense with two hits and two runs batted in. Bickerstaff, Small, Griffe, Taylor and Owen each had hits with Small knocking in a pair of runs.

Bickerstaff, Stroud, Griffe and Taylor took turns pitching.

Bryant grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first when Small drilled a double to center and scored on a single by Griffe.

A three-run third expanded the lead. Lucas drew a walk to open the inning and stole second. Owen doubled but Lucas had to hold at third. A squeeze bunt was put down by Dunn but Lucas was called out at the plate. After Dunn stole second, though, Bickerstaff singled in Owen to make it 2-0.

Dunn scored on a groundout by Small and Bickerstaff hustled home as well to make it 4-0.

The Cyclones plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning but Bryant broke the game open in the home half of the frame. Walks to Stroud, Taylor and Brown loaded the bases and a free pass to Skelley forced in a run.

With one down, the walks continued as Lucas and Owen picked up RBIs with free passes before Dunn ripped a single that plated two, making it 9-2.

The Cyclones didn’t go quietly in the bottom of the fourth, rallying for four runs but with the bases loaded, Taylor ended it with a strikeout.

Texarkana Young Guns 6, Bryant 8U 0

Texarkana scored a run in the top of the first then it turned into a pitcher’s duel until the fourth when the Young Guns struck for five, making the hill too high to climb for Bryant, which was held to three hits.

Newell had two of those hits, singles in the first and fourth innings. Stroud had the other, a base hit to lead off the second. Brown followed with a one-out walk but both were stranded.

Arkansas Elite 6, Bryant 8U 0

A four-run third broke open another tight game and Arkansas Elite pitchers held Bryant to three hits. It was 2-0 going into the third.

Griffe had two hits and Taylor the third. Bryant threatened to score in both the third and fourth innings. In the third, two-out walks were issued to Dunn, Fischer and Skelley to load the bases but Arkansas Elite escaped with the shutout intact.

In the fourth, Newell walked, Taylor grounded into a force at second and Griffe doubled but the Elite got out of the jam to end the game.

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