LITTLE ROCK — Austin Kelly pitched a four-inning no-hitter and the Bryant 11-year-old All-Stars scored in every inning on their way to a 14-0 victory over Sylvan Hills in their State Tournament opener Friday at Junior Deputy park.
Kelly struck out seven but walked eight. He and his teammates retired three Sylvan Hills base-runners along the way.
The strike zone was a little elusive for both teams. Bryant took advantage of 10 walks and a hit batsman with five hits including two doubles by Jake East.
The Bryant team includes Landon Abernathy, Logan Allen, Drew Brown, Jake East, Jeffery Hastings, Dylan Hurt, Austin Kelly, Hayden Knowles, Garrett Misenheimer, Aaron Orender, Landon Smith and Diego Vargas. Jerry East is the manager of the 11-year-old team with assistance from Rick Brown and Rusty Misenheimer.[more]
Bryant is set to play Camden on Saturday at 3 p.m., in the second round of winners bracket play.
The Stars jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first starting with East’s first two-bagger, a drive to deep center. Allen then reached on an error and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A passed ball allowed East to score and Allen to move to third.
Hurt drew a walk and stole second then, with one out, Orender grounded to second to get Allen home. Kelly walked to load and swiped second then passed balls got Hurt, then Kelly, across the plate as Knowles drew a free pass. He stole second and scored on a double to right center by Smith to make it 5-0.
In the bottom of the inning, Kelly issued a pair of one-out walks but, after a strikeout, the lead runner was caught in a rundown and tagged out by Misenheimer at third.
East again led off the second inning with a double, this time to left-center. He took third on a wild pitch and, after Allen drew a walk, another wild pitch allowed him to score. Hurt’s groundout got Allen to third and he scored on a wild pitch as Misenheimer was drawing a free pass, making it 7-0.
In the bottom of the second, a lead-off walk and a passed ball had a runner at second but Kelly struck out the next two batters. Another walk and a wild pitch had runners at second and third but the Bryant hurler ended the threat with another punch-out.
Bryant’s third started with a single up the middle by Knowles. He stole second then Smith reached on an error that got Knowles to third. He scored from there on a sacrifice fly by Brown to make it 8-0.
Walks to East, Allen and Hurt forced in a run and when Misenheimer delivered a sacrifice fly to center, it was 10-0.
In the home half of the inning, Kelly struck out the first two then issued a trio of walks to load the bases. But he picked off the runner at second as East snuck in behind the Sylvan Hills player from shortstop to retire the side.Bryant’s fourth began with walks to Kelly and Knowles. Abernathy was hit by a pitch and, with two down, Allen delivered a two-run single. Abernathy scored on a passed ball and, a few pitches later, so did Allen who had stolen second and moved up on the pitch that scored Abernathy.
The only mystery left in the game was whether Kelly would complete the no-hitter. The first batter in the bottom of the fourth bounced to East at short. The second batter drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch but was thrown out trying to steal by Hurt, the Bryant catcher. Kelly then closed out the gem with his seventh strikeout.