Shurtleff’s pitching, late eruption lifts Bryant 13’s to Series-opening win

KITSAP COUNTY, Wash. — Alex Shurtleff tossed a one-hitter and the Bryant 13-year-old All-Stars broke open a[more] 2-0 game with a seven-run sixth on the way to a 9-2 win over the host Kitsap County, Wash., All-Stars to open pool play at the Babe Ruth World Series Wednesday night.

Logan Allen sparked the game-breaking uprising with a perfectly placed bunt up the third base line. Jake East and Garrett Misenheimer singled in the inning as well.

The Bryant team also includes Drew Brown, Cameron Coleman, Jeffery Hastings, Dylan Hurt, Austin Kelly, Hayden Knowles, Aaron Orender, Kyle Sahr and Diego Vargas. Jerry East manages the team with assistance from Rick Brown and Randy Kelly.

Pool play was set to continue today with Bryant, the champion of the Southwest Regional, taking on the Pacific Northwest Regional champion from Meridian, Idaho at 1 p.m.

East, Misenheimer and Orender each had two hits in Wednesday’s game. Meanwhile, Shurtleff shut out Kitsap through six innings, fanning six but walking seven. The lone hit in the game for the Washington team was a single with one out in the top of the fourth by Nick Loeffelholz.

Bryant took the lead initially in the bottom of the first when East singled, Hurt walked and Shurtleff reached on an error to load the bags. Misenheimer’s single drove in the run with one out before Kitsap starter Miles Brundage worked out of the jam.

Shurtleff eased through the top of the first despite a pair of walks. Lead-off man Hayden Trull was caught off the bag when teammate Mel Crowley’s flyball to right was caught by Kelly, who threw to first for a doubleplay. Another walk to Jacob Kriebel was erased when Hurt, the Bryant catcher, threw him out trying to steal.

In the top of the second, Brundage was hit by a pitch, Loeffelholz walked and Cody Kanouse reached on an error with no one out. But Shurtleff picked off Brundage at third then retired the next two on a flyout and a groundout to keep it 1-0.

Orender singled in the bottom of the inning, took second on a sacrifice bunt by Allen and reached third on a wild pitch but was stranded. In turn, Shurtleff worked a 1-2-3 top of the third, fanning a pair.

Brundage worked around singles by Shurtleff and Kelly in the third. Kitsap’s fourth-inning threat began with a one-out error. After Loeffelholz’s single, Kanouse drew a walk but Shurleff got Harrison Sandy to pop out then ended the inning with a strikeout.

With two out in the bottom of the fourth, Coleman beat out an infield hit. He took second on a wild pitch as East drew a walk. Another wild pitch put runners at second and third but they got no further as Brundage induced a pop up on the infield.

But Shurtleff had found his groove at that point. He retired the side in order in the fifth, worked around an error in the sixth with the help of another doubleplay on a fly to Kelly. With the runner going from second, the right-fielder threw in to double him off before he could get back.

Allen’s bunt single started the bottom of the sixth. Coleman followed with a walk and East singled to load the bases. Allen scored on a wild pitch and, after Hurt walked to load the bags again, Coleman came home on a balk by Trull, the third Kitsap pitcher.

A walk to Shurtleff filled them up again for Misenheimer who singled to drive in East, making it 5-0. With the infield in, Kelly chopped one to Kanouse at first. He tried to throw home to get Hurt but he didn’t get it there on time as Hurt slid across the plate.

A walk to Hastings forced in a run and, after Kitsap got a force at home on a grounder by Orender, Allen walked to plate a run and the final tally came in on a groundout by Coleman.

A run short of a run-rule win, Bryant took the field in the top of the seventh. Shurtleff struck out Kanouse but walks to Jerald Delafuente and Tyler Aerne delayed the end. Desmond Heath was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A run then scored on an error and a second came in when Mel Crowley grounded into a force at second but beat the return throw to first, avoiding the inning-ending doubleplay.

But Shurtleff got Tyler Meek to bounce out to end it there.

Pool play will conclude on Sunday with the top three teams from each of the two pools will advance to a single-elimination bracket for the championship.

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