Bryant comeback falls short at District tourney for 12’s (46/60)

BENTON — The Benton All-Stars scored in each of the first five innings and, though they rallied late, that proved to be too much for the Bryant All-Stars to overcome in the District Tournament for 12-and-under teams playing on the 46/60 field at Bernard Holland Park Friday. Benton held on for a 9-5 win.

The Bryant 12-and-under team that plays on the 46/60 field includes team members Beaux Bonvillain, Zach Chambers, Daniel Darbonne, Ethan Cozzens, Noah Easterling, Austin Hooper, Jared Martinez, Jared Morales, Jake Pinson, Jake Roedel, Joseph Small and Logan Valestin. The team is managed by Rob Roedel with assistance from Jamie Easterling and Alton Darbonne.[more]

Bryant was set to return to action on Saturday evening at 8, with designs on battling back through the loser’s bracket.

Benton took advantage of some early control problems for Bryant’s pitching, scoring once in the first and twice in the second without a hit. Benton’s first knock was a double to open the third inning and it led to a three-run outburst that made it 6-0.

Bryant started its rally in the bottom of the inning when Hooper was hit by a pitch. Roedel singled and, with two down, Darbonne capped the two-run uprising with a base hit.

Benton got one of those back in the top of the fourth then forced Bryant’s Stars to strand runners at second and third in the bottom of the frame.

A two-run fifth gave Benton a commanding 9-2 advantage but that’s when Bryant started getting revved up.

Easterling started the fifth with a single and stole his way to third. Small walked then Darbonne cracked a double to drive in a run. Walks to Pinson and Morales forced in the second tally and had the bags loaded with one out. But Benton got a force at the plate on a comebacker off Chambers’ bat and got out of the jam with a strikeout.

Behind Roedel, the fourth Bryant pitcher, the Stars were able to keep Benton off the board in the top of the sixth and they resumed their comeback efforts in the bottom of the inning.

Roedel was hit by a pitch to start the rally. He was forced at second as Easterling reached but onsecutive walks to Small, Darbonne and Pinson forced in a run and brought the potential tying run to the plate. Benton, however, was able to wriggle off the hook with a strikeout and a force out to finish off the victory.

"My guys played much better than the score looked," stated Coach Roedel. 

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