Bryant All-Stars suffer heartbreaking setback at Cal Ripken World Series

OCALA, Fla. — For the Bryant All-Stars, the third game of the Cal Ripken 10-year-old World Series brought heartbreak. Trailing 7-6 through four innings, Bryant scratched out a run in the top of the fifth inning to pull even with Meridian, Idaho, and the game went to the sixth deadlocked. But Meridian eked out an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth to extract an 8-7 win in the third pool play game for both teams.

Bryant’s 10-year-old team, coached by Greg Riggs with assistance from Scott Allison, Scott Curtis and Matt Orender, includes Aiden Adams, Kannon Allison, Tyler Bates, Clay Curtis, River Gregory, Will Hathcote, Cameron McDonald, Trey Miller, Justin Orender, Ryan Riggs, Austin Schroeder, Blaine Sears, Brandon Thomisee and Josh Turner.

It was the third loss in as many games in pool play for Bryant’s Stars. They conclude pool play on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (CST) against Bismarck, N.D.

Turner and Adams each had two hits for Bryant in the game against Idaho.

The game was delayed by inclement weather but once it got going, Schroeder got the team off to a good start with a shot to right for a double to lead-off the game. McDonald hit a grounder to short that resulted in Schroeder being thrown out at third then Orender bounced into a fielder’s choice as McDonald was forced at second.

With two outs, however, Turner slashed a single to right and, a pair of wild pitches brought Orender around to score the first run. Turner wound up at third and, after Hathcote walked, another wild pitch allowed the second run to score.

Meridian countered with three runs in the bottom of the first as the game settled into a seesaw battle. Bryant took its turn in the top of the second and regained the edge with two more tallies. Sears ripped a double to left to instigate the uprising. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Adams cracked a two-bagger. Adams eventually scored on a passed ball as McDonald drew a two-out walk. Orender and Turner each singled to load the bases but Meridian got out of the jam at that point with a grounder to first.

The Idaho team tied it 4-4 in the home second but back came Bryant to re-establish the advantage. A walk to Sears started the two-run third. Adams lined a single to left and, with two down, Schroeder walked.

A wild pitch allowed Sears to score as Adams and Schroeder moved up. Another wild pitch got Adams in to make it 6-4.

Meridian answered with a three-run third, sparked by a two-out triple. A single, a walk, a catcher’s interference call and an error contributed to the scoring.

In turn, Bryant only managed a two-out single to left by Riggs in the top of the fourth. A lead-off single in the bottom of the inning, however, was overcome by Hathcote, the second Bryant pitcher, who struck out the next two batters and induced a liner to Schroeder at short to keep it 7-6 going into the top of the fifth.

A walk to Curtis with one out, led to Bryant’s tying run. Schroeder walked and, after McDonald grounded into a force at second for the second out, Curtis, now at third, and McDonald worked a double steal with Curtis crossing the plate to make it 7-7.

Meridian threatened in the bottom of the fifth, again after two were out. A double and a walk had runners at second and third when a grounder was hit to Curtis at second. He tried to get a force at second but the base-runner beat the throw. Meanwhile, the runner from second rounded third and tried to sneak home. After taking the toss from Curtis, Schroeder whirled and threw to Riggs at the plate in time to nab him to end the inning in dramatic fashion.

And when Turner walked to open the top of the sixth, it appeared Bryant had the needed momentum to snap the tie only to have the Idaho pitcher strike out two on the way to working around the walk.

In the bottom of the sixth, a double, a bunt single and an error produced the winning run.

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