Hornets outslug Malvern for season-opening win
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MALVERN — The last thing that Bryant Hornets baseball coaches Terry Harper and Scott Williams might’ve expected in their team’s season-opener at Malvern was a slugfest.
But when the Hornets fell behind the Leopards 7-2 in the first two innings, that’s what they needed. And, sure enough, it’s what they got. The Hornets hammered out 16 hits and rallied for an 18-10 win.
Ten different Hornets hit safely in the game, accounting for 16 hits, three each by Korey Hunter and Andrew Norman, two by A.J. Nixon and Andrew Moseley.
A trio of pitchers worked for the Hornets. Starter Daniel Minton ran into trouble but Daniel Price and Josh McClellan combined to limit the Leopards to three unearned runs and just three hits over the last five frames.
Malvern broke on top with a four-run first but only one of the runs was earned against Minton.
\The Hornets got two of those back in the second when, with two outs, Minton, Justin Wells and Justin Woods earned consecutive walks to set up Moseley who slapped a two-run single to right.
Malvern’s three-run home second made it 7-2.
The lead didn’t last long, however, as the Hornets erupted for 10 runs in the top of the third. Hunter got things started with a single. Nixon doubled and Hunter scored on a wild pitch. Norman singled in Nixon to make it 7-4. Travis Wood walked and, after a flyball moved the runners up, a balk made it 7-5.
Wells then singled in Wood. He swiped second and scored the tying run on a single to left by Woods. An error allowed Moseley to reach again then a double steal followed. With two out, Hunter reached on an error and Nixon singled to plate another run. Walks to Norman and Wood and a single by Minton completed the eruption.
Price worked around a walk to preserve the lead in the bottom of the inning and the Hornets tacked on three more in the fourth. Price, Moseley, Hunter and Norman all singled in the inning.
Malvern took advantage of a pair of Bryant errors and a two-out RBI single to get a run back in the bottom of the inning. In the fifth, two more scored thanks to a pair of errors and a two-out double, making it 15-10.
McClellan worked around a lead-off single in the bottom of the sixth and the Hornets proceeded to put the finishing touches on the victory in the top of the seventh. Dustin Easterly reached on an error and Dustin Tinkler singled. Minton grounded into a force out but a passed ball moved Tinkler to third and Minton to second. With two down, McClellan reached base on an error as Tinkler scored. Zack Young followed with a two-run double to complete the scoring.
McClellan closed out the win by pitching around a one-out walk in the bottom of the inning.