HOT SPRINGS — The Bryant 8-year-old All-Stars overcame 4-0 and 7-4 deficits by out-scoring the Benton 8’s 12-3 over the final three innings on Sunday to advance to the championship of the District Tournament.
Benton came back to win the loser’s bracket final later on Sunday to forge a rematch in the championship round on Monday at 6 p.m. Bryant will need to win once to take the title, Benton will have to win twice.
The Bryant 8’s include Cade Drennan, Hayden Hilson, Colton Kilgore, Rhett James, Tyler Larue, Braydan Lester, Trey McKim, Jake Meaders, Riley Morales, Josh Prather, Shane Small and Gage Stark. The team is managed by Clint Hilson with assistance from Mike Meaders and Bill Drennan.[more]
“We didn’t play really great defensively,” said Coach Hilson, “but we hit the ball pretty well.
Benton scored a run in the first and three in the second to forge the 4-0 lead. Bryant broke through with a tying uprising in the third. Lester instigated the rally with a single then Hilson and Larue followed with base hits to produce a run. Two scored when Drennan reached on an error then James tied the contest with a single.
Benton answered with three in the bottom of the inning to take the 7-4 lead.
But Bryant erupted for six in the fourth and never looked back. Meaders singled to get the inning started then Kilgore reached on an error. Small got a bunt down and beat it out for a single, loading the bases for Stark, who drove in a run with a groundout.
Prather pounded a double, Morales singled and Lester lashed a two-bagger. An RBI single by Hilson made it 10-7.
Bryant kept Benton off the board in the bottom of the inning and went back to work on offense. A one-out double by Drennan, a single by James and an error that allowed McKim to reach loaded the bases. Meaders drove in a run with a groundout then Kilgore cracked a two-run double that completed the three-run burst.
Benton tried to get something going in the bottom of the fifth but could only muster one run.
In turn, Prather singled then Morales and Lester beat out bunt hits. All three wound up scoring to make it 16-8.
Benton’s last gasp produced two runs before Bryant’s Stars closed out the win.