The first game of the 2015 high school baseball season is just less than a month away but the defending Class 7A State champion Bryant Hornets are already garnering notoriety.
As a team, the Hornets, coming off a 33-2 season, have been ranked No. 7 in the nation in Collegiate Baseball’s 2015 National High School Baseball pre-season poll.
Individually, Bryant seniors Blaine Knight and Drew Tipton have been named to the 2015 Louisville Slugger pre-season high school all-American baseball first team, selected by the staff of Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Both made the team last year as juniors along with teammates Trevor Ezell and Chase Tucker, who are both playing in college now.
In addition, head coach Kirk Bock has been chosen as the 2014 Coach of the Year in Arkansas by the National Federation of State High School Coaches Association.
The Hornets were ranked No. 10 at the end of the 2014 title run, when they earned their third State crown in five years.
Knight pitched shutouts in two State Tournament games including the final against Fayetteville and was named Most Valuable Player. He went 11-0 with an 0.43 earned run average in 2014 and signed a letter of intent with the University of Arkansas.
Tipton, who has signed with Arkansas State University, hit .385 in 2014, scored 47 times and stole 21 bases.
Both were named Class 7A all-state after the 2014 campaign.
Bock is beginning his seventh season at Bryant. The Hornets are 155-39 overall and 63-21 in conference games in his six years.