SHERWOOD — After losing in the second round of the Cal Ripken 8-and-under State Tournament, the Bryant[more] All-Stars have worked their way through the losers bracket, eliminating four other teams including two on Tuesday night, to advance to the championship round tonight.
The Stars ousted Lakewood, 11-8, and the Little Rock Junior Deputy B team, 4-3, on Tuesday to earn another shot at the A team from Little Rock Junior Deputy, which handed Bryant its lone loss, 9-6, in a second-round game.
The Bryant 8's players include Evan Barrett, Gavin Burton, Luke Dreher, Caleb Greiner, Drew Hatman, Conner Martin, Logan McDonald, Colby Morrow, Cade Parker, J.T. Parker, Turner Seelinger, Hayden Thompson, Logan White. The team is managed by Jason Greiner with assistance from Ryan Martin and Jeremy Morrow.
Bryant 4, LR Junior Deputy B 3
Bryant snapped a 3-3 tie with a run in the bottom of the fifth then held the LRJD B team in the top of the sixth. White scored the winning run after starting the home fifth with a base hit to left. He raced all the way home when Morrow cracked a double to center. Hatman singled to put runners at first and third but that was all Bryant could get. But it was all they would need when Junior Deputy could only manage one base-runner with two out in the sixth.
The Little Rock team had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the first but Bryant countered with three in the home half. Dreher started the uprising with a double to left. He took third on a grounder to second by Burton then scored on Cade Parker’s single to right.
Thompson followed with a base hit and Barrett, McDonald and Martin followed with consecutive singles to make it 3-1.
Junior Deputy tied it, however, with two runs in the top of the second. It stayed deadlocked until Bryant’s fifth-inning outburst. In between, White had a single in the second and Burton belted a two-out double in the third.
Junior Deputy managed runners in the fourth and fifth with little effect.
Bryant 11, Lakewood 8
Bryant scored the maximum (six runs) in the bottom of the first to overcome a 2-0 deficit. A four-run third helped maintain the advantage when Lakewood rallied in the fourth, cutting the margin to 10-6. Lakewood trimmed the lead to two runs in the top of the fifth but Bryant eked out one more insurance run in the bottom of the inning then retired the side in order in the top of the sixth to hold on for the win.
The first-inning blitz started with a single by Dreher. He would score on a base hit by Burton. Cade Parker doubled to put runners at second and third for Thompson, who beat out a dribbler for a hit as the other runners held.
With the bags stacked, Barrett came through with a two-run double. McDonald belted a two-bagger to bring Barrett in then consecutive singles by Martin and Greiner completed the inning.
Bryant set down Lakewood in order in the second and in the third, setting up Bryant’s four-run uprising in the home third. Cade Parker singled and Thompson got him home with a hit. Barrett drove in a run with an out before McDonald, Martin and Greiner each singled and White drilled a double to right-center.
Lakewood went to work on the big lead in the top of the fourth and pushed in four runs then added two in the fifth. The last Bryant run came in the home fifth when Cade Parker singled, advanced to second on a groundout by Thompson then scored on a base hit from Barrett to set the final score.