KITSAP COUNTY, Wash. — The Bryant 13-year-old All-Stars are two wins away from a Babe Ruth World Series championship.[more]
On Sunday, Bryant completed a clean sweep of pool play with its second run-rule win in two days. In what looked like a first-place showdown with both teams coming in 3-0 in the National Division, Bryant blew open a 4-2 game with five runs in the fourth inning on the way to a 12-2 victory over Waite Park, Minn. Logan Allen and Garrett Misenheimer each had three hits and Alex Shurtleff, after a rocky start shut out the Minnesota team the rest over the final four innings, scattering eight hits, walking three and striking out four.
Now 17-0 in post-season play (in District, State, Regional and World Series play, Bryant receives a first-round bye in the single-elimination championship bracket. They’ll play again on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 5 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time), against the winner of a first-round game between the No. 2 seed from the American Division, Monroe Township, N.J., and the No. 3 seed from the National Division, Meridian, Idaho.
The top seed from the American Division is Tri-Valley, Calif., which also receives a bye and will play Tuesday at 8 p.m. (PDT), against the survivor of a game between Greenville, N.C., and Waite Park.
The winners of Tuesday's games will play for the World Series title on Wednesday at 6.
The Bryant team, which is managed by Jerry East with assistance from Rick Brown and Randy Kelly, includes Allen, Drew Brown, Cameron Coleman, Jake East, Jeffery Hastings, Dylan Hurt, Austin Kelly, Hayden Knowles, Misenheimer, Aaron Orender, Kyle Sahr, Shurtleff, and Diego Vargas.
East and Hurt each had two hits on Sunday. Kelly and Coleman drove in two runs each.
Waite Park scored its two runs in the top of the first inning. Chris Backes singled, Michael Petron walked and Camren Dehler singled to load the bases. Shurtleff struck out clean-up man Jack Schramel but, on a 3-2 pitch, Joey Atkinson singled to drive in a run. Two pitches later, Peter Nelson singled to make it 2-0.
Shurtleff forced the Minnesotans to leave the bags full, however, when he fanned Reagan Garden then got Daniel Schoborg to ground to East at short for a force at second.
Bryant got on the board in the bottom of the inning when East laced a double to left, stole third and, after Shurtleff drew a one-out walk, Misenheimer cracked an RBI double to right-center. Kelly drew a free pass to load the bases but Atkinson, the Waite Park starter, worked out of the jam with the lead intact.
But Shurtleff and the Bryant defense retired Waite Park in order in the second and the offense pushed the Stars into the lead. Allen slapped the first of his three hits to get the inning started. Though he was forced at second on Coleman’s bouncer to second, a stolen base set up the inning for the top of the batting order. East’s single drove in Coleman with the tying run. He stole second and Hurt got plunked by a pitch. With two down, Misenheimer came through in the clutch again with a base hit that loaded the bases for Kelly who drove in two with a single, making it 4-2.
Neither team did much in the third. Shurtleff worked around a two-out walk to Atkinson who, in turn, pitched around a two-out walk to Coleman.
Waite Park threatened in the top of the fourth. Shurtleff hit Garden with a 1-1 pitch to open the frame. Schoborg beat out a swinging bunt for a single but Garden was thrown out trying to get to third. Schoberg was then forced at second on a grounder by Drew Amundson. And, though Backes singled, Shurtleff ended the threat there with back-to-back strikeouts.
Bryant answered with its breakout at-bat. Hurt instigated the uprising with a single. Shurtleff walked and, after Hurt scored on a wild pitch, Misenheimer greeted a new pitcher by knocking in a run with a single to center.
Kelly and Hastings drew walks to fill the bases and, after another pitching change, Orender responded with an RBI single. Allen followed with an RBI single. East was hit by a pitch and Hurt singled to make it 9-2.
Waite Park threatened again in the top of the fifth but, again, Shurtleff worked out of the jam. Schramel doubled and Atkinson singled. Schramel held at third when Nelson grounded into a force at second. With two down, Schoborg drew a walk to load the bases but Amundson grounded to Orender at first to end the inning.
Bryant made it a run-rule win in the bottom of the inning. Kelly was hit by a pitch with one out and Hastings walked. Orender was struck, loading the bases for Allen who singled in a run. Coleman’s base hit made it 11-2.
East’s tap back to the mound resulted in a force at the plate but, moments later, a wild pitch allowed Allen to score the game-ending run.
Bryant heads to the championship bracket having out-scored its four pool play opponents 52-16. The 52 runs scored is far and away the most scored by any team at the tourney.