Bryant finishes in Florida on winning note

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Evan Lee went 3 for 4, Logan Allen and Aaron Orender had two hits each as the Bryant Hornets wrapped up play in the annual Tampa Bay Spring Training Classic this morning with a 5-1 win over the Eastview Lightning of Apple Valley, Minn.

The Hornets finished the trip 6-1 with the lone loss by one run to Maple Grove, Minn., on Thursday morning.

Overall, Bryant is now 10-1 going into Thursday’s home game against the Pine Bluff Zebras. The Hornets open 7A/6A-Central Conference play at Greenwood with a doubleheader on Friday.

Bryant right-hander Zach Jackson tossed two shutout innings to start the game, striking out the side around a two-out walk in the first then fanning two more in the second.

The Hornets gave him a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Allen singled, Dylan Hurt walked and Lee cracked an RBI single.

In the home second, they threatened to get more when Seth Tucker walked and Orender stroked a two-out single. Though they pulled off a double steal, they were stranded as Eastview worked out of the inning.

Jackson fanned the side again around a walk in the top of the third and gave way to Beaux Bonvillain in the fourth. The lefty hit a pair of batters and walked one before he found his stride. The Hornets worked a pickoff play behind the runner at first but the lead runner snuck home with the tying run, beating the relay. Bonvillain ended the threat there with a strikeout.

It stayed 1-1 despite walks to Jake East and Austin Kelly in the bottom of the fourth. In the fifth, Alex Shurtleff took over on the mound and was greeted by a pair of singles, the second on a bunt.

But Shurtleff picked off the lead runner then induced a doubleplay ball to East at short to keep it deadlocked.

A two-run home fifth put the Hornets back on top. Hurt singled and Lee drilled a double. Though the next two batters were retired and it looked like Eastview might escape, East came through in the clutch, cracking a two-run double to right.

Shurtleff pitched around a one-out triple in the top of the sixth and the Hornets tacked on two insurance tallies in the bottom of the frame.

Kelly led off with a walk and Orender beat out an infield hit. Allen’s single to right chased both of them home.

A lead-off single in the top of the seventh gave the Lightning some hope but Shurtleff fanned the next batter then the Hornets ended their trip in style with a doubleplay started by East.

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