PLAINVIEW, Texas — The 2017 Babe Ruth 14-year-old Southwest Regional Tournament has just two teams that are still unbeaten. Both are from Arkansas.
The South Arkansas State champion Bryant All-Stars will face the North Arkansas State champion, the Ozark Tri-County All-Stars, in the winners’ bracket finals on Monday at 2:30 p.m., after Bryant edged Denver City, Texas, 5-3, and Ozark Tri-County out-scored Tallassee, Ala., 13-9 in the winners’ bracket semifinals on Sunday.
The Bryant All-Stars, coached by Scott Allison with assistance from Greg Riggs and Matt Orender, include Kannon Allison, Tyler Bates, Dakota Clay, Noah Davis, Will Hathcote, Justin Orender, Ryan Riggs, Blaine Sears, Lawson Spear, Brandon Thomisee, and Josh Turner.
Ozark Tri-County draws from teams out of Highland, Viola, Salem Melbourne and Mammoth Springs in north-central Arkansas.
A three-run second snapped a 1-1 tie in Bryant’s game with Denver City. Turner made that hold up with seventh-inning relief from Clay. Denver City rallied for two runs in the top of the fourth to make it 4-3 but Bryant got some insurance in the bottom of the sixth.
Davis, Riggs, Hathcote and Allison each had two hits in the game for Bryant. Each drove in a run as well.
The Texas team took a 1-0 lead in the first aided by a two-out error. Bryant tied it in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Riggs was hit by a pitch. He stole second and went to third on a passed ball but was still there with two away. Hathcote struck out on a pitch in the dirt that got away from the Denver City catcher. He made it to first in time as Riggs scrambled home.
Turner set down the side in order in the top of the second and Bryant’s bats went back to work in the home half.
Sears sparked the uprising with a one-out double to left. Orender drew a free pass then Allison slapped a single into right to snap the deadlock. Though Allison was thrown out trying to steal second, Orender scored on a passed ball as Davis drew a walk. Riggs followed with a bunt hit to get Davis home as Denver City threw it around. Riggs wound up at third but was stranded.
Another 1-2-3 innings for Turner and the Bryant defense led to another threat by the Stars. Hathcote singled and Speer walked but a doubleplay left Hathcote at third with two away. Sears drew a walk but was caught trying to steal second to end the inning.
In the top of the fourth, Denver City made it 4-2 with a single and a triple. An out later, a sacrifice fly got a second run in. But they could get no more. Turner pitched out of a two-out, two-on jam in the top of the fifth then worked around a pair of walks in the top of the sixth as Bryant held fast to its 4-3 edge.
The insurance run in the bottom of the sixth was singled in by Davis with two out. Sears led off with a walk then, with two down, stole his way to third before Davis drilled one up the middle.
In the top of the seventh, Clay and his teammates retired Denver City in order on a liner to Davis at short, a strikeout, and a fly to Sears in left, closing out the victory.
2017 SOUTHWEST REGION BABE RUTH TOURNAMENT
Friday, July 21
Game 1 — Plainview, Texas 26, Picayune, Miss., 0
Game 2 — Denver City, Texas 3, South Brazoria County, Texas 2
Game 3 — Bryant, Ark., 13, Patterson, La., 4
Game 4 — Ozark Tri-County, Ark., 17, Levelland, Texas 4
Saturday, July 22
Game 5 — Tallassee, Ala., 7, Plainview, Texas 4
Game 6 — South Brazoria County, Texas 20, Picayune, Miss., 1
Game 7 — Plainview, Texas 8, Levelland, Texas 3
Game 8 — South Brazoria County, Texas 3, Patterson, La., 1
Sunday, July 23
Game 9 — Bryant, Ark., 5, Denver City, Texas 3
Game 10 — Ozark Tri-County, Ark., 13, Tallassee, Ala., 9
Game 11 — Denver City, Texas vs. Plainview, Texas, 6 p.m.
Game 12 — Tallassee, Ala., vs. South Brazoria County, Texas, 8:30 p.m.
Monday, July 24
Game 13 — Bryant, Ark., vs. Ozark Tri-County, Ark., 2:30 p.m. (winners’ bracket final)
Game 14 — Game 11 winner vs. game 12 loser, 5 p.m.
Game 15 — Game 13 loser vs. game 14 winner, 7:30 p.m. (losers’ bracket final)
Tuesday, July 25
Game 16 — Game 13 winner vs. game 15 winner, TBA
Game 17 — if necessary