Bryant Blue 14’s head to State as District tourney champs

AKADELPHIA — The Bryant Blue 14-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars will represent their District as champions and top seeds at[more] the 2012 State Tournament beginning Friday, July 13, at Benton after sweeping four games over the weekend. In the finals on Monday, July 2, Bryant whipped White Hall’s All-Stars, 14-4.

Members of the team are Connor Alliston, Bailey Bowers, Luke Brantley, Chase Brooks, Daniel Darbonne, Zach Jackson, Nick Kehrees, Zach Knapp, Mike Martindale, Caleb McElyea, Liam Miller and Connor Tatum. The manager is Mark Kehrees. He’s assisted by Blain Jackson and Seth Doxey.

To get to the championship game, Bryant buried 28-0 Saturday morning in the tournament opener. They followed that up with a forfeit against a Pine Bluff North team that didn’t show up. That set up a winners bracket showdown with White Hall that Bryant won 3-0. White Hall won the losers bracket final over the Clark County All-Stars to set up the finale.

The Bryant White All-Stars also competed in the tournament, opening with a win over Hot Spring County, 12-6. A 9-1 loss to White Hall sent them to the losers bracket where Hot Springs ended their run.

Members of the Bryant White team include Zac Chambers, Conner Reilly, Dillon Davis, Caleb Taylor, Isaac Helgestad, Joey Cates, Collin Welch, Noah Easterling, Dillon Medlock, Garrett Jarvis, Garrett Cobb. They’re managed by Jamie Easterling.

Details on the Bryant White games will be posted when they are made available.

District games were played at the fields at Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson State University.

Bryant Blue 14, White Hall 4

White Hall jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning before Brantley came in to pitch and put out the fire, forcing White Hall to strand runners at second and third.

Bryant took control of the game in the bottom of the second, scoring six times. The outburst commenced when Alliston was hit by a pitch and Kehrees walked. Bowers, who had struggled as the started on the mound, got those two runs back with a double. Jackson doubled him in and Darbonne beat out a bunt single. After Brooks walked, a double by Brantley plated two. Though Brantley was caught in rundown between second and third and was tagged out, Martindale capped off the frame with a triple.

Brantley wound up retiring all nine batters he faced before handing the moundwork over to McElyea in the fourth. By then, though, Bryant had piled on five more runs in the bottom of the third. Again, a hit batsman started the onslaught. This time, it was Kehrees who took one for the team. An out later, Jackson singled and Darbonne reached on an error. Brooks was plunked by a pitch and Tatum walked, forcing a pitching change. Brantley, however, greeted the new hurler with a drive to left for a double. With runners at second and third, Alliston delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 11-2.

McElyea walked a pair in the fourth but was aided by a 6-4-3 doubleplay turned behind him. In the fifth, White Hall stayed alive by plating a pair of runs but Miller came on in relief and got the final three outs.

Bryant then made it a run-rule (10-after-five) win in the bottom of the inning. Brooks singled then Brantley, Miller and McElyea drew walks to force in a run Brantley scored to make it 13-4 and Miller came home to end it when Kehrees grounded to short for a force at second.

Bryant 3, White Hall 0

In the game of the tournament, Jackson, with relief help from Brantley over the last inning and a third, shut out White Hall on five hits. In 5 2/3, Jackson walked two, struck out five and allowed three singles. Brantley pitched out of a base-loaded jam in the sixth then worked around a one-out hit in the seventh to close it out.

Bryant scored single runs in the first, third and fifth inning with Tatum crossing the plate all three times. He had a single, a double and a walk. Miller had two hits, both of which drove in runs.

In the bottom of the first, Tatum singled and stole his way to third before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Martindale. He doubled to open the third and scored on a base hit by Miller. Martindale got a sacrifice bunt down to move Miller to second but when he tried to get to third on Alliston’s fly to center, White Hall worked the relay to nail him.

Tatum singled with two out in the sixth then raced home when Miller burned the center fielder for a double.

White Hall threatened in the second when a walk and a two-out error had a runner in scoring position. But Jackson got out of it by inducing a comebacker to the mound.

In the third, Gavin Bailey singled up the middle for White Hall’s first hit. An out later, Chase Bryan drew a walk but a pop up and a strikeout stranded them at second and third, respectively.

Jackson worked around a lead-off single in the fourth then retired eight in a row before an error in the top of the sixth put a runner on with two down. A single by Jordan Gober resulted in the pitching change. Brantley was greeted by Jonathan Dickinson’s single to load the bases but he got the next batter to pop to third to end the threat.

A one-out single by Caleb Carr was all White Hall could muster in the top of the seventh.

Bryant 28, Pine Bluff Nationals 0

Though they scored a whopping 17 times in the first and 11 more in the third, the news on the opener was that Kehrees, McElyea and Miller combined on a perfect game, retiring all 12 Pine Bluff batters in the four-inning contest.

Kehrees struck out two in the first then McElyea fanned four over the next two frames including all three in the third. Miller closed it out needing just six pitches to retire the side in the fourth.

Bryant sent 22 batters to the plate in the opening inning. The game started with pop to short but then Miller singled and Martindale was hit by a pitch. Alliston walked to load the bases then the hit parade commenced. Kehrees, Bowers, Brooks, McElyea and Darbonne whacked consecutive singles.

Tatum walked then Miller lashed a double and Martindale cleared the bases with a triple. Alliston singled him in and a walk to Kehrees started it up again. Bowers cracked a single to right and Brooks walked. With two down, Darbonne had a hit, as did Tatum, Miller and Martindale before Pine Bluff could get the final out.

Miller started the third-inning outburst with a single. An out later, Alliston and Kehrees singled. Walks to Bowers and Brooks finally brought a pitching change but didn’t slow the Bryant Stars down much. McElyea singled and, Tatum walked. Miller reached on an error and, after Martindale drew a free pass, Alliston, Kehrees and Bowers socked singles. Brooks walked and McElyea singled. With the bases loaded, Pine Bluff managed to end it with a grounder to second.

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