SPORTS >> Bruins settle for second
Leader sports editor
Sylvan Hills did all it could, but couldn’t win the Gwatney Chevrolet Fourth of July Classic baseball tournament, despite going 3-0 in the event.
The Bruins started the tournament by beating Sheridan 2-0 on Thursday, and made an exciting comeback to topple Jonesboro 9-8 Friday. On the last day of the tournament, the Bruins beat Dunklin Co. Missouri 6-4, but had to settle for second place.
Paragould also went 3-0, but gave up fewer runs than Sylvan Hills, and was awarded the title of tournament champions based on that tiebreaker.
Sylvan Hills coach Mike Bromley would have liked to play Paragould, but shrugged off the second-place finish.
“We played some really strong teams in this thing that they didn’t have to play,” Bromley said. “That’s just how it is I guess.”
Bromley was still pleased with his team’s effort in the tournament. The three wins lifted the Bruins’ record to 27-7 on the year.
Sylvan Hills found itself in a 3-0 hole after two-and-a-half innings on Sunday, but got a huge lift from an unlikely source.
Right fielder Hunter Miller tied the game with one swing in the bottom of the third inning when he hit a three-run home run that scored Nathan Van Schoyck and Shawn Bybee. Van Schoyck had singled and Bybee walked to set up Miller’s big swing.
In the fifth inning, the Bruins took the lead when Bybee scored on an RBI walk by Grant Garlington.
Bybee led off the inning by getting hit. Hunter Miller struck out and Ashur Tolliver doubled to right field. Chase Elder then walked to load the bases, setting up the RBI walk by Garlington. Dunklin tied the game in the fifth inning, but Hunter Miller became the hero in the sixth when he hit his second round-tripper of the game. This one was also out to left field, this time scoring two runs to set the final margin.
“He’s really coming on strong,” Bromley said of the outfielder that just completed his sophomore year of high school.
“He’s going to be a player.”
Austin Gwatney started the inning with an infield single to shortstop. The next two batters went down before Miller put a charge into his first pitch.
Tolliver got the win on the mound. The lanky southpaw went the distance, giving up just five hits and three earned runs while striking out eight Dunklin batters.
The AAA Bruins will be off until Saturday while the Class A Sylvan Hills team will play in their zone tournament that begins Thursday in North Little Rock.
Saturday the AAA Bruins will host an afternoon doubleheader against Fort Smith Kerwins. Those games are scheduled to being at 3 p.m.