SHERWOOD — The Bryant 8-year-old All-Stars, coached by Matt Orender, will play for the championship at the[more] 43-team Cal Ripken 8-and-under State Tournament and they could still face the Bryant 8-and-under team, coached by Greg Riggs.
A third Bryant team in the tournament, the 7-year-olds coached by Jason Greiner was the last team of 7’s to bow out of the tourney, finishing 11th.
Orender’s team advanced to the championship round on Wednesday by knocking Lakewood in the loser’s bracket, 10-3, then knocking off Benton’s 8’s in a wild 13-12 contest on Monday.
Riggs’ squad was knocked into the loser’s bracket by Benton’s 8’s, 6-4, on Monday but bounced back to oust Monticello, 12-11. They’ll take on Marion this evening at 6. With a win, they’ll take on Benton immediately afterwards for a chance to challenge Orender’s team for the championship.
Orender’s team includes Luke Bessire, Dakota Clay, Cooper Davis, Noah Davis, Peyton Dillon, Will Hathcote, Jagger Littleton, Justin Orender, Brett Pennington, Austin Schroeder, Lawson Speer, Josh Turner and Garret Wilson. Patrick Schroeder and Paul Speer are the assistant coaches.
Riggs’ team includes Kannon Allison, Tyler Bates, Clay Curtis, Tyler Edmonson, Cole Ferguson, Easton Dinwiddie, Christian Knight, Cameron McDonald, Cooper Kinzler, Ryan Riggs, Blaine Sears and Cole Somer. The assistants are Scott Allison and Scott Curtis. Details about the team’s games will be forthcoming following the tournament.
Details of the games for Riggs’ 8-and-under team will be available following the completion of the tournament.
Bryant 8’s 13, Benton 8’s 12
After Benton rallied with the maximum six runs in the top of the fifth to take a 12-9 lead, Bryant tied it with three in the bottom of the inning. After the Stars held their rivals three-and-out in the sixth, they loaded the bases on singles by Wilson, Hathcote and Turner to set the table for Schroeder’s dramatic game-winning hit.
Bryant had the upper hand initially with a three-run first after Benton had not scored. Noah Davis and Littleton singled to start the uprising then Cooper Davis ripped a double. With two down, Wilson and Hathcote each singled to bring Littleton and Cooper Davis around.
Benton started the seesaw scoring five in the top of the second and Bryant countered with a max-out inning in the bottom half. Schroeder, Orender and Speer set the table with consecutive singles then Bessire cleared it with a triple. He scored on a single by Pennington. Noah Davis bounced into a force at second but Littleton singled and Cooper Davis chased him two with another double.
Neither team scored in the third. In the fourth, Benton whittled a run off Bryant’s advantage, making it 9-6. Bryant went down in order in the bottom of the inning, setting the stage for Benton’s six-run rally in the fifth.
Bryant stayed alive in the bottom of the inning, scoring all three runs after two were out. Bessire had singled with one down and, an out away from defeat, Noah Davis kept the inning alive with a single before Littleton cracked an RBI double. Hits by Cooper Davis and Dillon, who smacked a double, tied the game and had the potential winning run at third before Benton got the final out to send it to the sixth.
Bryant 8’s 14, Lakewood 3
Bryant’s defense shut out Lakewood’s Chargers through the first three innings while the offense built a 10-0 lead. The Stars added four runs in the top of the fourth. Lakewood got its three runs in the home fourth.
It was 4-0 after the first. Noah Davis singled but was forced at second on a grounder by Littleton. Cooper Davis and Dillon revved up the offense with back-to-back doubles then hits by Clay, Hathcote and Turner completed the outburst.
In the second, singles by Orender, Speer and Bessire opened the inning. Pennington then cleared the bases with a triple. Noah Davis singled him home but was thrown out trying to steal second. Littleton kept the inning going with a single. Cooper Davis doubled and Clay brought them home with a base hit to make it 10-0.
The fourth-inning scoring began with Orender’s single. An out later, Bessire and Pennington followed suit. Noah Davis doubled and, with two down, Cooper Davis and Dillon completed the onslaught with base hits.