Leigh cuts ‘Dogs’ comeback short
EDITOR’S NOTE: In this time of COVID-19, with no sports action, BryantDaily.com will be posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By ROB PATRICK
James Leigh did for Daniel Price on Monday what Price did for Justin Wells on Friday.
With the game on the line, Leigh, a senior left-hander, entered Monday’s game against the White Hall Bulldogs in the midst of a rally that threatened the Bryant Hornets’ bid for victory. Price had shut out White Hall through six innings but ran out of gas in the seventh which began with the Hornets leading 7-0.
Leigh entered after six consecutive batters had reached base and the Bulldogs had plated three runs, had the bases loaded with no one out and the tying run at the plate. He promptly retired three in a row to end the game. White Hall got a fourth run on a groundout to second, incidentally, as the Hornets held on for a 7-4 win in their final non-conference game of the season.
Price improved to 5-0 on the season. Through six innings, he had stopped the Bulldogs on five hits.
The win came just a few days after Price had turned in a clutch relief performance for his first save of the season in the Hornets’ win over Little Rock Catholic as Wells improved to 6-1 (see related story).
Now 25-2 and still ranked No. 1 in the state, the Hornets were set to finish up the regular season with conference games at home against Conway on Tuesday, April 20, and at Little Rock Parkview (played at Fair High School) on Friday, April 23, and at Little Rock Central on Monday, April 26. Those games will determine when they’ll play in the first round of the Class AAAAA State Tournament in Benton which begins Saturday, May 1.
Wells did his part to play back Price against White Hall, too, going 2 for 3 and driving in four runs. His three-run double with two out in the bottom of the fifth eased the tension of a 2-0 ballgame.
Bryant had taken the lead with a run in the first without a hit. White Hall starter Clayton Dill issued one-out walks to Travis Wood and Wells. Bryan Griffith followed with a roller to third that drew a wild throw allowing Wood to score from second.
Wood’s hit extended his current hitting streak to six games. During that stretch, he’s hitting .500 (9 of 18).
In the third,, Wood led off with a triple to right-center, the first of Bryant’s five hits in the game. Wells’ single up the middle made it 2-0.
In the fourth, Richie Wood was hit by a pitch and walks to Andrew Moseley and Todd Bryan loaded the bases for Wells.
The Hornets benefitted from eight White Hall walks to go with the hit batter and three errors.
Bryant tacked on two runs in the fifth with the help of some nifty baserunning after a clutch two-out RBI single by Dustin Easterly. Dustin Tinkler’s one-out single started things. Richie Wood then reached when his tap to the mound was fielded by Dill who threw wildly to second. With two down and facing an 0-2 count, Easterly slapped a single down the right-field line that easily scored Tinkler. Wood stopped at third but Easterly had rounded first and headed for second. White Hall first baseman Ben Farrell cut off the throw and Easterly stayed in the rundown long enough for Wood to sprint home, making it 7-0.