Knowles’ blast highlights big inning that helps Bryant win another State tourney game

LITTLE ROCK — For the second game in a row, the Bryant 11-year-old All-Stars shut out their opposition in State Tournament play at Junior Deputy ballpark.

On Friday, Austin Kelly finished with a no-hitter and, on Saturday, Jake East almost followed suit, holding Camden without a hit and just two base-runners for four innings before a hit spoiled the no-hitter but not the shutout in the fifth.

The 10-0 win in five innings sets up a showdown with the rival Benton All-Stars on Sunday at 5 p.m.

The Bryant 11’s include Landon Abernathy, Logan Allen, Drew Brown, Jake East, Jeffery Hastings, Dylan Hurt, Austin Kelley, Hayden Knowles, Garrett Misenheimer, Aaron Orender, Landon Smith and Diego Vargas. Jerry East is the manager with assistance from Rick Brown and Rusty Misenheimer.[more]

East struck out five, walked a batter and hit another while pitching the two-hit shutout. The fifth inning started with a runner reaching on an error but the next batter bounced into a force at second. But a single broke up the no-hitter then a double steal had runners at second and third before East ended the game with a strikeout and a tap back to the mound.

The game was tight, however, until Bryant erupted for seven runs in the fifth. A three-run homer to center by Knowles made it a run-rule win in the bottom of the fifth.

Bryant drew first blood in the home first. East reached second on an error then Allen singled. A balk allowed East to score, sending Allen to second. He then swiped third and stole home before the Camden pitcher struck out the side.

It stayed a 2-0 game until Bryant tacked on a run in the fourth. Walks to Misenheimer and Orender got the inning going but a pop to the mound resulted in a doubleplay. But Orender stole second and third before coming home on a single by Knowles.

Bryant then blew up the game in the home sixth. Hastings singled but was forced at second on a tap to the mound by East. A stolen base had East at second then Allen walked and the duo worked a double steal. East scored again on a balk then Allen scored on an error as Hurt fanned on a wild pitch and made it to first.

Hurt stole second then scored on a single by Misenheimer to make it 6-0. Orender was hit by a pitch then Kelly walked after Misenheimer stole home.

Knowles then worked the count full before unloading on his walk-off blast.

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