TEXARKANA — It was truly ‘lights out” when the Bryant Blue League team of 9-year-olds captured the[more] championship of the TABA Arklatex Classic one-day tournament on Saturday, April 7. At 10 p.m., the lights went out on the championship game with Bryant leading an Ashdown team nicknamed “Lights Out”, 20-8.
The Bryant team includes Dakota Clay, Noah Davis, Cooper Davis, Peyton Dillon, Will Hathcote, Cameron McDonald, Justin Orender, Ryan Riggs, Austin Schroeder, Lawson Speer, Joshua Turner and Garrett Wilson.
Bryant opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over the Ashdown team then suffered a 4-1 loss to the Texarkana Wildcats. But they came back to top the Wildcats 4-2 in a rematch then won the championship game over Ashdown.
In the title game, Bryant broke the game open with a seven-run second that started with a lead-off walk to Cooper Davis and a one-out hit by Clay. Walks to Dillon and Turner followed before Schroeder beat out a hit. Walks to Hathcote, Orender and Noah Davis produced runs before Speer’s hit. McDonald picked up an RBI when he grounded into a force at third.
Patience paid for Bryant again in the third when Turner, Schroeder, Hathcote and Orender drew free passes ahead of hits by Noah Davis and Speer that increased the margin to 12-0.
Dillon, the Bryant starter on the mound, ran into some difficulty with the strike zone in the bottom of the third and Ashdown took advantage for four runs before Schroeder relieved and got out of the inning.
In the fourth, Cooper Davis walked and was sacrificed to second by Riggs. Clay followed with a hit and Dillon walked. With two down, Schroeder singled and it was 15-4.
Lights Out managed four more runs in the fourth before Speer relieved and brought the rally to an end.
In turn, Bryant put the game out of reach with five more. Noah Davis walked and Speer was hit by a pitch. McDonald walked and, an out later, Riggs and Clay came through with consecutive doubles. A walk to Dillon and a hit by Schroeder completed the onslaught.
The game was in the bottom of the fifth and Ashdown had two out and a runner on second when the lights went out to end the contest.
The rest of the games in the tournament were time-limited.
In the win over Texarkana, Bryant fell behind 2-0 in the second inning but Noah Davis got out of the jam and retired six of the last seven batters he faced including a 1-2-3 fourth after Bryant rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the third.
The comeback began with hits by Schroeder, Noah Davis, Speer and McDonald. With two down, Clay earned a walk to force in a run then Dillon’s double made it 4-2.
In the loss to the Wildcats, it was Bryant that ran out of time. Texarkana scored twice in the first and twice more in the third before Bryant began to find its stroke. In the third, Schroeder reached base and swiped second. He reached third on a groundout by Hathcote then, after Noah Davis walked, Speer singled in the run.
Davis and Speer worked a double steal but that was all they could manage. Time ran out with Texarkana’s first batter at the plate in the top of the fourth.
In the opening win over Ashdown, Bryant fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first on a walk and a pair of singles but Dillon forced Lights Out to strand runners at second and third.
Bryant tied it in the bottom of the inning when Speer walked and stole his way to third then walks to Cooper Davis, Riggs and Clay forced in the run.
Neither team scored in the second but, in the bottom of the third, Hathcote drew a lead-off walk then Noah Davis and Speer smacked singles.
Ashdown got a doubleplay but walks to Cooper Davis and Riggs then a single by Clay made it 3-1.
Ashdown mustered a two-out double in the fourth but couldn’t get the runner around as time ran out.