Bryant overwhelms Westfield, Mass., for third World Series pool win

KITSAP COUNTY, Wash. — Dylan Hurt brought some sanity to a crazy, bruising game with two innings of scoreless relief and[more] the Bryant All-Stars turned a 10-9 lead into a 23-11 victory over Westfield, Mass., at the Babe Ruth World Series on Saturday.

Bryant hammered 16 hits including four by Alex Shurtleff who drove in a whopping seven runs. Aaron Orender added two hits, matching his total in each of the team’s previous Series wins. Jake East, Garrett Misenheimer and Logan Allen added two apiece.

Between the two teams, there were 20 walks in the game, 10 by either pitching staff. In addition, Bryant batters were struck by pitches five times including a scary blow off the side of East’s batting helmet.

But Hurt, in his three frames, only accounted for one of those walks. He fanned two and allowed two hits.

The team, which is managed by Jerry East with assistance from Rick Brown and Randy Kelly, includes Allen, Drew Brown, Cameron Coleman, East, Jeffery Hastings, Hurt, Austin Kelly, Misenheimer, Orender, Kyle Sahr, Shurtleff, and Diego Vargas.

The game was also notable for a collision in shallow left on a bloop fly that both East, out from shortstop, and Coleman, in from left, were pursuing. Both went down and stayed down for a while, getting attention from the trainers. Both continued to play though Colemam left the game later with a sore shoulder.

That also proved to be a controversial play because Coleman actually made the catch but it was apparently ruled that he didn’t take the ball from his glove cleanly. Westfield scored two runs on the play during a six-run second that turned Bryant’s 10-3 lead into a 10-9 edge.

But Bryant put together its second eight-run uprising in the top of the third to take control of the game again. This time, Hurt made it stand. A five-run fourth put the game in run-rule territory. Westfield managed to rally for a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth but it wasn’t enough to keep the game going.

Bryant improved to 3-0 in pool play with the victory. Nearly assured of a berth in the championship bracket (top three teams from two pools qualify), the team will try to nail down a top seed, which brings a first-round bye, when they wrap up pool play against Waite Park, Minn., this morning at 10, Pacific time (noon in Arkansas). Waite Park is also 3-0 in the pool.

Bryant struck for two runs in the top of the first inning. East singled, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and, after Hurt walked, both scored on Shurtleff’s double.

Misenheimer, who started on the mound for Bryant, struck out the first two batters he faced but then ran into control problems. He hit Sean Moorhouse then walked Scott Walsh, Anthony Clark and Zach Jarvis. Austin Kelly relieved but walks to Jacob Colapietro and Shaun Gezotis made it 3-2 Wesfield before he got Matt Hasting to fly out.

The lead didn’t last long. In the top of the second, Allen cracked a double and Coleman walked. East singled to load the bases for Hurt beat out an infield hit to drive in a run. A wild pitch allowed Coleman to score then Shurtleff smacked an RBI single.

Misenheimer reached on an error and Kelly socked a two-run single. Base hits by Hastings, Orender and Allen made it 10-3 before the Massachusetts team could get the first out.

Westfield’s second-inning outburst began with a one-out walk to Ari Schwartz. Moorhouse singled then Scott Walsh walked. Anthony Clark grounded into a force at second as Schwartz scored but Bryant struggled to get the third out. Walks to J.D. Huntley and Colapietro forced in a run and Noah Murray lofted the fly to left that resulted in the collision between East and Coleman.

When play resumed, Matt Hasting singled in a run and Hurt came on to relieve. Austin St. Pierre’s single made it 10-9 but Hurt picked Hasting off second to end the inning.

The game-breaking third began with Shurtleff’s third hit, a single. Misenheimer ripped a double that chased Shurtleff home and, after he stole third, he scored on a wild pitch. Brown singled, Hasting walked and Orender rapped a base hit to load the bases. A balk then allowed Brown to score.

Allen got down a squeeze bunt that plated Hastings then Orender scored on a wild pitch.

Coleman revved up the offense again with a single then East was drilled with a pitch that ricocheted off his helmet. When play resumed, Hurt walked to load the bases, Shurtleff walked to force in a run and Misenheimer was hit by a pitch to bring in another. Brown’s sacrifice fly made it 18-9.

Hurt issued a one-out walk to Moorhouse in the bottom of the inning but retired the other three batters in the inning, providing the first frame in which no runs were scored.

Bryant’s onslaught continued, however, in the top of the fourth. Orender drew a walk, took second on a wild pitch then stole third. With two down, Sahr drew a free pass and Hurt was plunked to load the bases for Shurtleff, who cleared them with a triple to make it 21-9. And when the return throw to the infield was wild, Shurtleff scored as well.

Misenheimer singled and wound up scoring the final run after walks to Brown, Hastings and Orender.

Hurt retired Westfield in order in the bottom of the fourth and, after Scott Walsh, the fifth pitcher, worked through the top of the fifth despite hitting Vargas with a pitch to start the frame, Westfield scrounged for two runs in the bottom of the fifth.

It was the 16th win in as many post-season games for Bryant, which has now scored 40 runs in three games at the World Series.

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