BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. — By a combined score of 39-3, the Bryant 8-year-old All-Stars have compiled[more] a 3-0 record in pool play through Saturday at the Southwest Regional Tournament.
The 8’s opened with a 13-0 win over Kenner, La., on Friday then won twice on Saturday, 11-1 over Vancleave, Miss., and 15-2 over the host team, Bay St. Louis, Miss.
The 8-year-old team, coached by Joey Small, is Luke Bickerstaff, Dawson Brown, Drake Brown, Tucker Dunn, Braxton Fischer, Matthew Griffe, Mason Lucas, Tanner Newell, Logan Owen, Alex Skelley, Chase Small, Dylan Stroud and Daniel Taylor.
Bryant, a number one seed for bracket play, was set to return to action Sunday afternoon at 4:30 against the winner of a 1:30 game between Sylvan Hills and Madisonville, Miss., Red.
Bryant 13, Kenner, La., 0
Lucas, Bickerstaff and Newell each had three hits to lead Bryant to the opening win.
A four-run first got the team off on the right foot. Lucas singled and stole his way to third before Bickerstaff singled. Likewise, Bickerstaff worked his way around the bases in advance of a base hit by Small. With one out, Small swiped second and third before Newell singled him in to make it 3-0. And, with two down, Newell stole second and scored on Taylor’s double.
Bryant added to the lead in the third. Owen singled, Lucas doubled and Bickerstaff beat out an infield hit as a run scored. Small bounced into a force at second but picked up an RBI as Lucas scored and, after Griffe grounded into a fielder’s choice, Newell cleared the bases with a triple to make it 7-0.
Stroud doubled in Newell and Taylor singled to make it 9-0.
After Kenner was set down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, Bryant continued the onslaught in the top of the fourth Dawson Brown singled but was forced at second on Fisher’s grounder to short. With two down, Skelley and Owen singled to bring Fisher around with a run. After both players moved up on steals, Lucas slapped a single to right to make it 12-0.
Again, Kenner was retired in order and Bryant finished off the win in the fifth on hits by Griffe, Newell and Drake Brown.
Bryant 11, Vancleave, Miss., 1
Van Cleave scored its lone run in the top of the first and it held up until the bottom of the second when Bryant put together a run-limit outburst to built a 6-1 advantage.
Newell revved up the offense with a single, advancing to second on an errant throw. Stroud’s single brought him home. Consecutive hits by Taylor, Drake Brown and Dunn produced a run and an error allowed Taylor to follow Stroud in. Drake Brown scored on a wild pitch before Dawson Brown picked up an RBI with a groundout, making it 5-1.
Fisher kept things going with a single and, after moving up on a sacrifice by Kelley, he scored on Owen’s double to complete the inning.
Bryant made it 10-1 in the bottom of the third. Lucas singled and Bickerstaff doubled. When an errant throw sailed into the dugout, Lucas was awarded home plate. Bickerstaff, at third, scored moments later when Small bounced to short.
Griffe followed up by powering the first pitch to center for a home run. Newell, Stroud and Drake Brwon each singled to make it 10-1.
Dawson Brown scored the final run in the bottom of the fourth after Dunn singled and was forced at second on Brown’s fielder’s choice. Fisher singled and the run scored on Skelley’s grounder.
Bryant 15, Bay St. Louis 2
A 2-2 game after the second, Bryant scored three in the third and six in the fourth to break the game open, finishing it with four more in the top of the fifth to put the game out of reach.
Lucas, Griffe, Taylor, Drake Brown and Dunn each had three hits in the game. Griffe and Dunn each drove in four.
Bryant grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Griffe doubled in Small. Bay St. Louis scored two in the bottom of the inning to gain a lead but Bryant tied it in the top of the second. Taylor lined a single to center then both Drake Brown and Dunn beat out bunts for hits. When Dawson Brown grounded to short, Taylor scored to tie it.
Bay St. Louis put two runners aboard in the bottom of the inning but could not get the run back so when Bryant scored three in the top of the third, it took the lead for good.
The third began with singles by Skelley and Lucas. Bickerstaff bounced into a force at third but a single by Small loaded the bases for Griffe who beat out an infield hit to bring in a run which snapped the tie. Two more runs scored on Newell’s singled to center, making it 5-2.
Bryant blew the game open in the top of the fourth, scoring the run-limit of six. Base hits by Taylor, Drake Brown and Dunn produced a run. Dawson Brown beat out a bunt for a single to load the bases for Fisher, who stroked a single to center for an RBI. Skelley’s single chased home two runs as the lead ballooned to 9-2.
Fisher was forced at third on Owen’s grounder but Lucas singled in Skelley. After Bickerstaff singled to fill the sacks again, Griffe came through with a two-out, two-run double. Only one of the runs counted, however, because of the run limit.
Down 11-2, Bay St. Louis put a pair of runners aboard but Bryant turned a doubleplay to take the wind out of the sails of the hosts.
Newell, Stroud and Taylor singled to load the pillows in the top of the fifth Drake Brown singled in a run then Dunn cleared the bases with a three-run double, setting the final score.