LITTLE ROCK — Things didn’t go the way they’d hoped on Tuesday night for the Bryant Blue League All-Stars in[more] the championship round of the Cal Ripken 12-and-under (70) South Arkansas State Tournament. The hosting Little Rock Junior Deputy All-Stars, who had lost to Bryant 19-7 earlier in the tourney, beat Bryant 11-6 to force a winner-take-all final (or “if” game) on Tuesday then captured the championship with a 12-0 win.
But both teams will compete in the Regional Tournament, which will also be held at Junior Deputy ballpark, starting July 19.
The Bryant team is managed by Bill Kyzer with assistance from Kirk Schmidt and Chris McKinney. Team members are Logan Chambers, Luke Curtis, Brooks Ellis, Logan Grant, Christian Harp, Brandon Hoover, Preston Kyzer, Dylan McKinney, Grayson Prince, Matthew Sandidge, Scott Schmidt, Jacob Stroud.
Bryant was the last unbeaten team in the tournament.
LR Junior Deputy 11, Bryant 6
In the first game of the evening, it was tied 6-6 going into the bottom of the fourth but, while Bryant was shut down over the final two innings, Junior Deputy rallied for a tie-breaking run in the bottom of the fourth then took control of the game with a four-run fifth.
Bryant scored first. With two out in the opening frame, Ellis was hit by a pitch and McKinney lashed a double to right-center to chase him home.
Little Rock answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning but, in turn, Bryant got those two back and regained the edge in the top of the second.
Kyzer reached on a third-strike in the dirt to start Bryant’s second. Though he was forced at second on a grounder to short by Chambers, a double down the left-field line by Grant brought the tying run in. With two down, Sandidge smacked an RBI single to left to make it 3-2.
Junior Deputy tied it in the bottom of the inning but left the bases loaded when Prince relieved Chambers and ended the threat with a strikeout.
Bryant reclaimed the lead in the top of the third when Kyzer smashed a two-out, two-run homer. Ellis had reached on an error to start the inning and stole his way to third but remained there after two were out.
The 5-3 lead didn’t last long, however, as Little Rock rallied for three runs in the bottom of the third. Trailing by a run in the top of the fourth, Bryant knotted it up again when Sandidge drew a one-out walk and, with two down, Ellis and McKinney each singled, the latter picking up the RBI.
A lead-off homer in the fourth put Junior Deputy back on top and, in the bottom of the fifth, a grand slam put the game on ice.
LR Junior Deputy 12, Bryant 0
Junior Deputy scored two in the first, two more in the second, three in the third and five in the fourth while Bryant was unable to get a base-runner past second.
Ellis reached with one out in the first but Junior Deputy turned a doubleplay. Schmidt singled with one out in the second but was stranded after advancing to second on a groundout by Chambers. Harp reached with one down in the third but was forced on agrounder by Sandidge. A wild pitch moved Sandidge to second as Ellis drew a walk but neither could get any further.
Schmidt’s single with one away was all Bryant could muster in the fourth.