Little Rock Legion team edges Bryant 14’s

LITTLE ROCK — With the Bryant Black Sox Junior American Legion team finishing up the Keith Hagan Memorial Classic in Memphis, suffering a 4-0 loss, at midday on Tuesday, the Bryant Athletic Association 14-year-old All-Stars took the chance for a tune-up contest as they prepare for the Babe Ruth State Tournament in Lonoke on July 7, by taking on the Little Rock Cobras’ 16-and-under Junior Legion team at Gary Hogan Field.

They held their own and actually put themselves in position to win before coming up on the short end of a 6-3 game in six innings.

The Bryant 14’s are Kannon Allison, Tyler Bates, Dakota Clay, Noah Davis, Cole Ferguson, Will Hathcote, Cameron McDonald, Justin Orender, Alec Purdom, Ryan Riggs, Blaine Sears, Lawson Speer, Brandon Thomisee and Josh Turner. Scott Allison is the head coach with assistance from Greg Riggs. Not all of the Stars were available to play.

Hathcote and Turner did the pitching and, though they allowed six runs only two were earned as the All-Stars suffered four errors.

The Cobras took a 1-0 lead in the second, Issac Nowell singled with one out, James Ivester walked and Jack Phillips singled to drive in the run. Bryant turned a nifty doubleplay to end the inning.

And Bryant tied it in the top of the third when Sears walked, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball. With two down, Hathcote, Turner and McDonald each drew free passed to load the bases against Phillips, the Little Rock starter. Orender hit the ball sharply but it was fielded at short for a force at second that ended the threat.

Taking advantage of a pair of errors, the Cobras snapped the tie in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs to go up 4-1 before Hathcote ended the uprising with a strikeout.

C.J. Price relieved for Little Rock and pitched around a walk to Cates in the fourth and a walk to Clay in the fifth.

Meanwhile, Turner relieved Hathcote in the fourth and retired the first two. But an error extended the inning and lead-off batter Jarvis Loggins, who was 3 for 3 in the game, lined a triple to right for an RBI to make it 5-1.

Turner kept it to that, however, by striking out Brett Smith.

In the bottom of the fifth, another error opened the gates. The batter stole second but was caught trying to steal third for the first out of the inning. But Anders Nowell was hit by a 2-2 pitch and, after he stole second, Isaac Nowell drove him in with a single to center.

Gage Johnson took over on the mound for the Cobras in the top of the sixth and Bryant rallied. Thomisee singled then Orender hit a shot to left that was flagged down for the first out. Cates yanked a single to right then so did Allison to load the bases for Sears who came through with an RBI single to center. Cates scored when Riggs reached on an error.

But Johnson bore down at that point and retired the next two. Bryant left the bases loaded as the game concluded.

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