CORDOVA, Tenn. — They’d been off for a while without practicing, but when called to play, the Bryant 12-year-old All-Stars[more] jumped at the chance, particularly since the opportunity was as the representative of the Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken organizations in the National Youth Baseball Championship in Cordova, Tenn., near Memphis.
Bryant knocked off the rust and opened play today against the PONY League representative from Miami, Fla., the Tamiami Broncos. A three-run first by the Florida team put Bryant in a hole but for the rest of the game, they played even. The Broncos forged a 4-1 win.
The All-Stars were set to return to action this afternoon against the Sand Diego Stars, representing the AABC organization.
Along with Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken, PONY and AABC, teams representing the USSSA, AAU, NABF, Dixie and Super Series programs are competing at the tournament.
Several of the games will be picked up on the MLB Netword and televised live including Bryant’s game at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning against USSSA representative Lynn Haven, Fla.
Members of the Bryant 12’s include Logan Allen, Beaux Bonvillian, Drew Brown, Cameron Coleman, Jake East, Jeffery Hastings, Dylan Hurt, D.J. McKinney, Austin Kelly, Hayden Knowles, Preston Kyzer, Garrett Misenheimer, Aaron Orender, Matthew Sandidge and Scott Schmidt. Manager Darren Hurt is assisted by Rick Brown and Randy Kelly.
Only one of Miami’s three first-inning runs were earned after an error extended the inning.
In the bottom of the first, Misenheimer and Knowles drew walks but were stranded.
In the second, the Broncos’ Gustavo Miranda singled but was forced at second on a grounder by Tyler Perez. And when Perez tried to steal second, Hurt threw him out. Misenheimer, on in relief of Knowles, struck out the next batter to end the inning. Bryant went down in order in the bottom of the inning, however.
Neither team mustered much in the third. Allen walked with two out for Bryant but was stranded.
The Broncos added an unearned run in the top of the fourth on a pair of walks, an error and a wild pitch.
Knowles was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the inning, took second on a balk then stole third but a tap back to the mound by Kelly and a pop to first by Schmidt ended the inning.
Beaux Bonvillian took over on the mound in the fifth and worked a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout. The Stars continued to struggle at the plate too, however, going down in order as well.
Bonvillian struck out the side in the top of the sixth and, in the home half, Bryant dented the plate and managed its first hit. With one out, Misenheimer reached on an error and scored when Knowles belted a double to left. But Knowles was thrown out trying to get to third and Brown struck out as the game concluded.