SHERWOOD — In a rematch of their lone pool play loss, the Bryant Black Sox 9U All-Stars grabbed an early lead but fell victim to a nine-run bottom of the first by the Benton 10U team at the Cal Ripken State Tournament on Sunday. Though the Sox rallied, Benton held on for a 12-7 victory on their way to the finals against the Bryant 10’s.
The Bryant 9’s are coached by Bill Lloyd, Jordan Verdell, Chris Mask, Brad Martin. Players include Trey Atkins, Tanner Hogland, Cade Jackson, Griffin Lloyd, Cameron Martin, Patterson Mask, Cash McCrary, Sawyer McPherson, Hunter Robertson, Rizer Rue, Judah Summers and Landen Verdell.
Jackson and Verdell each had two hits for the Sox.
Bryant’s opening outburst started with a one-out single by Lloyd who snuck into second on the play. A passed ball moved him to third and he scored when Martin’s grounder to third was booted.
Jackson beat out a bunt single and, after he stole his way to third, he held as Verdell’s bunt went for a hit. Robertson followed with a fly to left that was misplayed allowing both to score, making it 3-0.
Bryant threatened to get more when McCrary drew a two-out walk but Benton got out of the inning with no further damage.
Benton countered with its big inning, scoring seven times before the second out was recorded. Two more crossed the plate before the Sox could escape.
They went right to work at cutting into the 9-3 margin. In the top of the second, there were two away when Lloyd was struck by a pitch. Martin singled and, after they worked a double steal, a wild pitch allowed Lloyd to score.
Jackson walked and, on a passed ball as Verdell was drawing a free pass, Martin came home to make it 9-5.
Bryant held Benton off the board in the second but then the Sox were unable to take advantage of a walk to McCrary and a single by Hogland in the top of the third.
Benton made the comeback hopes a little tougher with a three-run burst in the bottom of the third.
Down 12-5, the Sox kept after it in the top of the fourth. Summers reached on an error and made it to second on Lloyd’s grounder to the pitcher. Lloyd was safe at first as well.
Benton turned a doubleplay but a triple by Jackson made it 12-6. Verdell singled him in.
Though Robertson was hit by a pitch to put two aboard, Benton ended the game with a fly to left.