EL DORADO — The Bryant All-Stars continued their quest for a Babe Ruth 13-and-under South Arkansas[more] State championship with their third straight tourney win on Sunday, burying the rival Benton All-Stars 12-1. They were set to return to action this afternoon at 3:30 p.m., in the winners bracket final. With a win, the Stars will advance to the championship round.
Alex Shurtleff tossed a two-hitter. Benton’s lone run came in the second on a single, a stolen base and two groundouts. The only other hit came in the fourth after a two-out walk.
The Bryant hurler walked three and struck out eight in the five-inning contest. Outside the second and fourth, he allowed just one two other base-runners on a hit batsman and a two-out walk in the bottom of the fifth before he closed out the win.
The Bryant 13s are managed by Jerry East with assistance from Rick Brown and Randy Kelly. The team includes Logan Allen, Drew Brown, Cameron Coleman, Jake East, Jeffery Hastings, Dylan Hurt, Austin Kelly, Hayden Knowles, Garrett Misenheimer, Aaron Orender, Kyle Sahr, Shurtleff, Diego Vargas.
Bryant grabbed a 5-0 lead in the top of the first and never looked back. Kelly led the offense with three hits including a two-run homer to left-center. East had two hits.
The opening outburst included consecutive singles by East, Hurt, Shurtleff and Misenheimer with the last two chasing home runs. Kelly burned the center fielder for a two-run double and, an out later, scored on a base hit by Orender.
After Benton scored in the bottom of the second, Bryant tacked on two more in the top of the third on Kelly’s two-run blast. Misenheimer, who had walked, came home on the jack.
East found the left-center gap with a drive to start the fourth. He stole his way around for his team’s eighth run.
A four-run fifth capped off the victory. Kelly’s single got the inning going. He stole second and, with two down, Allen walked. A double steal produced a run before Coleman walked. East was drilled by a pitch to load the bases Vargas slapped a single to right to plate two and, when East scored, the final was on the board.