Late surge makes the difference for Benton 8’s after being challenged by Bryant 7’s

HOT SPRINGS — Trailing 6-2, the Bryant 7-year-old All-Stars rallied to tie the Benton 8-year-old team Friday night in the opening round of District Tournament play. But Benton quieted the Bryant bats over the final two innings and surged to an 11-6 win.

The Bryant 7’s were set to return to action this afternoon against either the Benton 7’s or a mixed age group team from Benton.

The Bryant team of 7-year-olds, managed by Matt Orender with assistance from Patrick Schroeder, includes Luke Bessire, Dakota Clay, Cooper Davis, Noah Davis, Peyton Dillon, Austin Ledbetter, Jaggar Littleton, Justin Orender, Brett Pennington, Austin Schroeder, Lawson Speer and Garrett Wilson.[more]

Ledbetter, Schroeder, Cooper Davis and Clay each had two hits for Bryant.

Benton opened the bottom of the first with four straight hits to take a 2-0 lead. It stayed that way until the third when Bryant tied it with an uprising that was ignited by Shroeder’s first hit. He swiped second and scored on Cooper Davis’ double. Clay singled but was erased on a doubleplay.

Base hits by Orender and Bessire had Bryant in position to take the lead but Benton got a force at third to end the threat.

Benton responded at the plate as well, pushing four runs across in the bottom of the third. The inning was capped by a pair of doubles.

And back came Bryant in the top of the fourth. Ledbetter and Dillon singled then Wilson got a bunt down that went for a hit. A run scored when Pennington tapped out to first then Schroeder and Cooper Davis cracked back-t0-back two-baggers to tie it.

Davis tried to leg out a triple but was thrown out at third. Clay followed with a single but was forced at second on a grounder by Littleton that finished the inning.

Bryant got within an out of getting through the bottom of the fourth but a two-out rally produced five runs to turn the 6-6 tie into the final score.

The Bryant Stars were retired in order in the fifth. In the sixth, Ledbetter led off with a single and stole second but the next three were retired as Benton closed out the victory.

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