Torii Hunter’s Elite won their first game of the Senior Babe Ruth State Tournament on Friday afternoon, defeating Hope 4-0.
Brandon Little and Tyler Greer combined for a no-hitter in the game. Little pitched five and two-thirds innings while recording 13 strikeouts. Greer struck out two batters in one and one-third innings of relief.
The Elite was in a tough game with Hope for most of the contest. Austin Lawrence was on the mound for Hope and battled with Little back and forth.
With both teams leaving runners stranded on base from walks without a hit in the game, Blake Hence got the first hit of the game in the fourth inning with a double over the center fielder. Unfortunately, Hence was left stranded due to the pitching from Lawrence.
In the top of the sixth inning, Hence was walked; Christopher Mack Jr. replaced him as the pinch runner. Mack stole second base, and Jaylon Deshazier hit a line drive to center field to drive in the run, taking a 1-0 lead over Hope.
Preston Pope came in as a relief for Hope in the seventh inning. After two walks from Pope, Keith Boyd bunted the ball down the third base line and hustled down first to load the bases for Hunter’s Elite.
Rod Stinson Jr. drove in a run on a single; Hence followed up with a single to drive in two more runs, giving the Elite a 4-0 lead. The three-run inning helped Greer finish off Hope in a three up three down fashion. Hence and Boyd led Hunter’s Elite at the plate with two hits a piece.
Hunter’s Elite beats Lonoke 10-0
In the second round of the Senior Babe Ruth State Tournament, Hunter’s Elite won 10-0 against Lonoke on Saturday in five innings due to the run-rule.
Blake Phillips pitched against Lonoke in another game recently and threw a complete game no-hitter while striking out 19 batters. Phillips picked up where he left on Saturday, pitching three innings and allowing no hits and no runs to start Hunter’s Elite on the right track defensively.
In the bottom of the first inning, Brandon Little hit a single and stole a few bases before Jaylon Deshazier hit a single to drive him in for the first run of the game.
In the second inning, Lonoke’s pitcher Will Roark walked the first three batters to load the bases for Hunter’s Elite. Andrew Morgan Hit a sacrifice fly to drive in one run; Braelin Hence followed with a two RBI single to bring in the other two runners to score. With Braelin on first base, his brother Blake Hence hit a bomb over the right field fence for a two-run home run, giving Hunter’s Elite a 6-0 edge over Lonoke.
After another walk given up by Roark, Rod Stinson Jr. hit an RBI triple to add another run to the big inning, making the score 7-0.
Later, in the fourth inning, Braelin Hence hit a triple, followed by an RBI single from Blake Hence to give the Elite a eight-run lead.
Bernard Black came into the game to relieve Phillips on the mound. Black pitched two innings, allowing one hit while striking out two batters.
In the bottom of the fifth, Garrett Dennis walked and Christopher Mack Jr. hit a single to reach base. Andrew Morgan hit a line drive single to score the two runners and end the game 10-0.
Sunday, Hunter’s Elite faced off against Camden 18U. Suffering their first loss of the tournament, Hunter’s Elite fell to Camden 18U in eight innings by a final of 7-6.
That loss forced Hunter’s Elite into a loser’s bracket game against Hope Monday at 5 p.m. The winner of that one would advance to the championship round to play Camden 18U at 7:30 p.m. Monday night.
Heading into the championship round, Camden was one win away from securing the Senior Babe Ruth state title.