The Bryant Blue 12-and-under All-Stars (46/60) swept through District Tournament play, capturing[more] the championship game over the Pine Bluff All-Stars with a 10-7 win over the weekend.
Bryant advances to the State tournament starting July 6 at Dumas. Regionals are scheduled for LaMesa, Texas on July 20.
The Bryant White 12-and-under All-Stars also competed in the tournament, losing the opening game to Bryant Blue, 8-1, then falling to Pine Bluff. Bryant White coach Jeff Echols noted the team only formed four days before the tournament. “But we had a lot of fun and wouldn't trade it for anything,” he added.
The Blue League 12’s are managed by Keith Thompson with assistance from Jason Holt and Dalton Holt. Players include Myers Buck, Konnor Clontz, Caleb Dorsey, Joe Green, Boston Heil, Sawyer Holt, Zak Kemp, Chandler Taylor, Ethan Thompson, Hunter Ulmer and Zach Wells.
The White League 12’s include Jacob Birch, Dallas Buie, Dylan Clark, Landon Cobb, Ethan Echols, Drake Edwards, Brandon Hopkins, Jared James, Reid Mobley, Christian Mote, Logan Rich, Ryan Taylor, Alex Thompson, Jacob Tidwell, and Trey Workman.
Along with the 8-1 win over White, the Blue team defeated Pine Bluff 9-1 then, after Pine Bluff defeated Bryant White, the championship game was set.
Bryant Blue 8, Bryant White 1
Heil and Buck combined to limit Bryant White to a run on three hits and Bryant Blue built a 7-0 lead in the first three innings.
Heil struck out the side in the first around a single by Taylor and a walk to Echols. He went on to strike out seven in row before turning the ball over to Buck in the fourth.
In the home first, Green drew a walk and, an out later Dorsey singled to right center. Kemp’s base hit drove in the first run of the game before Workman, the White starter, got out of the inning by retiring Thompson on a fly to right and getting Heil to bounce into a force at second.
In the bottom of the second, Bryant Blue broke the game open. Ulmer walked and advanced on a groundout by Holt. Wells beat out a bunt hit. Both runs scored when Green’s grounder to short was mishandled. After Buck singled, a passed ball put runners at second and third for Dorsey who ripped a drive to deep center for a two-run triple. Thompson singled in Dorsey and it was 6-0.
The seventh run was scored by Ulmer in the third. He stole his way to third base then scored on a two-out hit by Green.
Buck relieved in the fourth for Blue and hit James. Echols reached on an error but James was thrown tagged out and Echols was retired trying to get to third.
James, who had relieved for the White team in the third, held Blue scoreless in the bottom of the fourth and his teammates scratched out a run in the top of the fifth. With one out, Alex Thompson singled and stole second. Buie cracked an RBI single to center but was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit to a double.
Blue got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Clontz reached on an error, Advanced on a tapper by Taylor, got to third on Green’s single and scored on a base hit by Buck.
James ended the inning by getting Dorsey to ground into a force at third but Buck set down the side in order in the top of the sixth to close out the win.
Bryant Blue 9, Pine Bluff 1
Bryant broke up a scoreless game with a run in the third inning, added three in the fourth then put it away with a five-run fifth.
Pine Bluff managed a run in the top of the sixth as once again, Heil and Buck pitched three innings each and allowed just one hit in the game. Heil struck out eight and walked two. The only out recorded that wasn’t on strikes was a tap back to him on the mound. Buck was greeted with the first and only hit for Pine Bluff, a double to lead off the fourth. But he got the next batter to fly to left then struck out four straight.
He issued a two-out walk in the sixth and on steals and wild pitches, the runner scored before Buck ended it with his fifth strikeout.
Bryant Blue managed just one baserunner over the first two innings but, in the third, with one out, Wells reached base and stole second. Green doubled him in to break the scoreless deadlock.
In the fourth, Kemp’s drive to left was misplayed and Thompson beat out a bunt. Heil’s infield hit loaded the bases for Ulmer, who hit a slow roller that resulted In Kemp scoring and Thompson getting forced out at third.
A walk to Holt loaded the bases for Wells who drove in two with a hit to make it 4-0.
The fifth-inning uprising began with two outs. Dorsey, Kemp and Thompson belted base hits then Heil was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Ulmer then cleared the bases with a triple. And when Holt singled him in, it was 9-0.
Bryant Blue 10, Pine Bluff 7
In a seesaw battle, Bryant overcame a 7-5 deficit in the top of the final inning, scoring five runs. Heil came in to relieve in the bottom of the inning and earned the save by retiring the side around a two-out walk.
Bryant Blue used some power and some small ball to put together the winning rally. Thompson provided the spark when, on a 2-1 count, he led off the inning with a blast to right center for his first home run.
Heil followed with a shot to center for a triple. The small ball ensued as Ulmer beat out an RBI bunt single as did Holt and Wells. And when the bunt by Wells was followed by an error, Bryant had the lead. A two-out single by Dorsey put the finishing touches on the rally.
Pine Bluff had jumped out front with two unearned runs in the bottom of the first. Bryant countered with two in the top of the second when Thompson tripled, Heil doubled and, after tagging and advancing to third on a deep fly to right by Holt, scored on a wild pitch.
Dorsey pitched around a pair of walks in the second, picking off a runner at second for the second out then ending the frame with a strikeout.
In turn, Bryant grabbed the lead by posting three runs in the top of the third. With one out, Green, Buck and Dorsey ripped base hits, setting the table for Kemp who blasted a triple to left-center to make it 5-2.
But Pine Bluff battled back to tie it in the bottom of the third.
The tension mounted as neither team scored in the fourth and, after Bryant was retired 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth, Pine Bluff regained the upper hand with a two-run inning that included a single, two stolen bases, a one-out bunt hit and an RBI double.
Dorsey kept it at that with a strikeout and a groundout that force Pine Bluff to strand a runner at third, setting the stage for Bryant’s decisive rally.