LONOKE — Brayden Lester pitched three shutout innings as the Bryant 9-year-old All-Stars built a[more] 9-0 lead on the way to a 12-5 win over Little Rock Junior Deputy to open the Cal Ripken State Tournament for 9-year-olds Friday.
The Bryant team was set to return to action today at 1 p.m., against either El Dorado or Sylvan Hills B.
Bryant’s 9-year-old All-Stars include Cade Drennan, Jonathan Hall, Hayden Hilson, Rhett James, Colton Kilgore, Tyler LaRue, Braydan Lester, Jake Meaders, Trey McKim, Riley Morales, Shane Small and Gage Stark. Clint Hilson is the manager. Mike Meadors and Bill Drennan are the assistants.
Lester allowed just two hits in those three innings. In the fourth, he issued a pair of one-out walks and Hilson relieved and finished up, though the Little Rock team managed two runs in the fourth and another three unearned in the fifth.
Bryant was paced offensively by Drennan and James who had two hits each.
The Stars took a 2-0 lead in the first when Morales was hit by a pitch and, after reaching third on a single by Stark, scored on a wild pitch. Drennan’s one-out single plated Stark to make it 2-0.
In the second, Meaders beat out a bunt hit. Kilgore followed with a grounder to third that drew a wild throw. Meaders reached third and scored on a wild pitch. With one out, Stark walked then when LaRue and Drennan reached on errors, Kilgore came around to score and Stark crossed the plate on a wild pitch to make it 5-0.
With two out in the third, Kilgore doubled. Morales cracked a base hit up the middle then Stark, LaRue and Drenan followed with hits as the lead grew to 9-0.
After Little Rock dented the plate in the fourth, Bryant added three runs for insurance. Hall singled to center then LaRue reached when his bunt was misplayed. Both sprinted home when Drennan blasted a double to left. McKin singled and took second on the throw that held Drennan at third but then Lester’s base hit made it 12-2.