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CONWAY — The Trinity Cardinals have been a thorn in the side of the Bryant 8U tournament team[more] this spring and that continued over the past weekend in a tournament in Conway. Bryant came as close as it has to defeating their rivals in the opening game of the tournament but the Cardinals escaped with a 9-8 win. After bouncing back with a 9-2 win over the Slam on Saturday, Bryant again met the Cardinals on Sunday only to absorb a 6-0 loss.
Bryant, coached by Joey Small, includes Luke Bickerstaff, Drake Brown, Tucker Dunn, Braxton Fischer, Matt Griffe, Mason Lucas, Tanner Newell, Logan Owen, Reece Rowland, Alex Skelley, Chase Small, Dylan Stroud and Daniel Taylor.
Trinity 9, Bryant 8
Trailing 6-5, Bryant erupted for three runs in the top of the fifth to put itself in position to win only to have the Cardinals rally for three in the bottom of the inning to win. The game ended on a bases-loaded walk on a 3-2 pitch with two outs.
Griffe and Taylor led Bryant with three hits each. Taylor drove in four and Griffe three. Dunn and Brown added two hits each.
In the top of the fifth, Bryant had put itself in position to win with a burst that began with a single by Dunn who stole second and scored on a base hit by Griffe. On the throw to the plate, Griffe raced all the way to third and, with two down, Taylor drove him home.
A walk to Bickerstaff and a single by Brown loaded the bases for Lucas who drew a pass to force in a run, giving Bryant its 8-6 lead.
The home half of the inning began with a double and three hit batsmen and three walks contributed to the comeback.
Bryant broke out on top in the top of the first. Small ripped a double to center and Dunn beat out an infield hit before Newell was hit by a pitch to load the bags. Griffe bounced into a force a third but picked up the RBI as Small scored.
The runners moved to second and third on a grounder by Stroud then scored when Taylor laced a double to right to make it 3-0.
Trinity managed a run in the bottom of the inning but Bryant increased its lead with two in the third. Newell’s double started the uprising. Griffe traded places with him, bashing a double to center. After advancing to third on Stroud’s grounder to short, Griffe scored on a base hit by Taylor to make it 5-1.
Trinity, however, responded with a five-run home third to take the lead, which held until Bryant’s fifth-inning rally.
Bryant 9, Slam 2
Bryant built a 4-0 lead initially and, after the Slam got on the board with a run in the home second, erupted for five in the third to break the game open.
Small, Dunn, Taylor and Owen each had two hits to lead Bryant’s work at the plate. Dunn and Brown each drove in a pair.
A three-run first got Bryant off to a solid start. Walks to Small and Dunn set the stage for the uprising. After they pulled off a double steal, Newell plated the first run with a sacrifice fly.
Griffe walked and stole second before Stroud drove in a run with a groundout and Taylor singled to make it 3-0.
In the second, Owen singled, stole second and scored on Small’s base hit.
The Slam put together a single and a two-out double to plate their first run in the bottom of the inning, setting up Bryant’s big third.
Stroud, Taylor and Bickerstaff each singled to load the bases Brown bounced into a force at second but got the RBI as Stroud scored. And, on a hustle play, Taylor came round to score as well. Brown, who wound up at third, came home on a bouncer by Lucas to make it 7-1. Singles by Owen, Small and Dunn produced two more tallies.
Trinity 6, Bryant 0
Bryant was stopped on one hit over five innings. Griffe managed that lone safety, a single to lead off the second inning.
Trinity took a 1-0 lead in the first and scored three times in the second. A two-run fourth put the finishing touches on the win.