Heidelberg’s gem lifts Bryant 12’s to winners’ bracket final

SILOAM SPRINGS — Avery Heidelberg tossed a one-hit shutout, making a run in the top of the second hold up for a 1-0 victory for the Bryant All-Stars over the Mountain Home Fury on Sunday at the 2019 Cal Ripken 12U Southwest Regional Tournament.

Bryant advances to the winners’ bracket final on Monday at 1:30 p.m., against Matthews Park, Ala., the only other unbeaten team in the double-elimination tournament.

The 12’s, coached by Paul Speer, include J.T. Allen, Luke Andrews, Gavyn Benson, Eli Berry, Cohen Chalmers, Blaine Duer, Kolby Duncan, Heidelberg, Dante Hernandez, Landon Jackson, E.J. Keith, Colt Martin, Braxton Speer, Aiden Stout, Hudson Thomason.

Heidelberg took a no-hitter into the bottom of the fourth when, with two out, a single to right broke it up. But he then retired five in a row before issuing a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth. A doubleplay started by Benson at second ended the game.

The Bryant hurler walked two and struck out three, while the defense behind him supported him without an error.

Benson drove in the lone run of the game. Speer had opened the top of the second with a single. With one out, Thomason laced a liner to left for a hit. They both moved up on a passed ball before Benson singled to right, driving home Speer.

With runners at second and third, however, the Mountain Home pitcher struck out the next two, leaving them stranded.

Heidelberg worked around a two-out walk in the opening frame then retired nine in a row before the lone Fury hit.

Bryant didn’t have much better luck. Keith singled with one out in the fourth and stole second, but he was left aboard.

In the fifth, Berry lined a single to center with one out and Jackson was struck by a 1-0 pitch. A pitch later, Heidelberg was drilled, loading the bases.

But, after a pitching change, Allen was robbed of a hit on a liner to third. Speer grounded to short, resulting in an out at the plate that ended the threat.

If Bryant wins over Matthews Park, it’ll advance to the championship round on Tuesday. Whichever team loses between Bryant and Matthews Park will play the survivor of the losers’ bracket at 6:30 p.m., on Monday for a chance to reach the title round.

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