MOSES LAKE, Wash. — So, do you think their 10-1 loss to Clifton Park, N.Y., to open the 14-year-old Babe Ruth World Series served as a bit of a wake-up call for the Bryant All-Stars or did it just make them mad? One way or the other, the team has focused in to the extreme and made the rest of the teams in their pool pay.
On the heels of a 12-0 win over the host team on Sunday and a 10-2 victory over the Jasper, Ind., team that won the Ohio Valley Regional championship on Monday, Bryant swamped Midwest Plains Regional champion Baxter Springs, Kansas, on Tuesday, 21-4.
That’s a combined 43-6 over those three games.
Bryant, the Southwest Regional champion, is managed by Jerry East. The players are Logan Allen, Drew Brown, Coleman, Jake East, Lawson Fincher, Jeffrey Hastings, Dylan Hurt, Austin Kelly, Hayden Knowles, Preston Kyzer, Misenheimer, Aaron Orender, Kyle Sahr, Shurtleff and Diego Vargas.
Bryant will be no worse than the second seed from the National Division for the six-team single-elimination championship tournament starting Thursday. The team has Wednesday. To gain the top seed from the Division and a first-round bye in the tourney, Bryant would need some help when Clifton Park, N.Y., takes on Moses Lake later on Tuesday then plays Baxter Springs on Wednesday.
As the two-seed from the National Division, Bryant would play next on Thursday at 8 p.m., Pacific time; 10 p.m., Central, against the third-seeded team from the American Division, which includes Manchester, N.H.; Tualatin Hills, Ore.; Longwood, Fla.; Westchester, Calif.; and Puget Sound, Wash.
At the time of this posting, the most likely paring would be against either the Oregon or the Florida team, who trail the California team in pool standings.
Against the Kansas team on Tuesday, Misenheimer, Allen and Shurtleff each had three hits. Misenheimer drove in four and Orender knocked in three. Kelly and East had two hits each as Bryant piled up 16 to take advantage of seven walks and nine errors.
East started on the mound and allowed just two hits, though Baxter Springs scored four runs, two of them unearned. Misenheimer closed out the game striking out five of the six batters he faced.
Kansas actually led 4-3 after three innings but Bryant broke the game open with five runs in the fourth then scored 13 in the fifth inning to make it a rout.
Bryant led initially, 2-0, after an inning. East led off the game with a single to right. An error allowed Orender to reach and, with runners at second and third, Shurtleff got a run home when his grounder to third was booted. Misenheimer drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly.
The first Baxter Springs batter, Jarrett Dotson reached on an error but Hurt threw him out trying to steal second. East struck out the next two.
Despite a walk to Hastings and a double by Allen, Bryant didn’t add to the advantage in the second. In the home half, Kansas scratched for the first time on an infield hit by Noah Wilson, a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt and a groundout.
Bryant got the run back in the top of the third. Shurtleff reached second on a single and an error. He scored when Misenheimer’s drive to left was misplayed.
A walk to Korben Frisbee and a double by Dotson ignited Baxter Springs’ three-run third. A run scored on a groundout and, after a hit batsman with two down, another throwing error allowed the tying and go-ahead run to score.
The lead didn’t last long. Orender drew a one-out walk in the top of the fourth, Shurtleff singled and, after a passed ball moved them up a base, Misenheimer beat out an infield hit to plate Orender with the tying run. And when Hurt’s bouncer to third drew an errant throw, two more scored.
The inning continued with Hurt, who reached second on the error, advancing to third on a wild pitch then scoring on Kelly’s single to left. Kelly proceeded to swipe second before Coleman singled up the middle. With Kelly on third, Allen got a bunt down to squeeze him home, making it 8-4.
Misenheimer struck out the side in the bottom of the fourth and Bryant’s 13-run romp in the top of the fifth commenced. East lined a single to left and Orender reached on an error. Shurtleff was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Misenheimer who laced a 1-0 pitch beyond the centerfielder’s reach for a two-run double.
With one out, Kelly shot a single up the middle for an RBI and, after Coleman walked, Allen blooped a single to right to knock in Misenheimer. Kelly came in on Hastings’ groundout, making it 13-4, bringing East back up again. He walked to fill the sacks for Orender who cleared them with a triple on a liner over the head of the centerfielder.
Shurtleff singled in Orender and, after Misenheimer doubled again, Hurt singled in a run. An error allowed Kelly to reach again as Misenheimer crossed the plate. Hurt and Kelly followed when Coleman’s grounder to short was misplayed, making it 21-4.
Allen singled and Brown walked before Dotson, Kansas’ fourth pitcher ended it with a strikeout.