Wilson, Kehrees pitch Hornets to opening win
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continue 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
When a baseball season begins, pitchers often find their stride before the hitters and that certainly was the case when the Bryant Hornets opened the 2007 season against the Lake Hamilton Wolves at Bryant High School Field on Thursday, Feb. 22.
Bryant’s Ryan Wilson and Alex Kehrees combined on a two-hit shutout, out-dueling Lake Hamilton’s Nick Sanders, who allowed just two hits himself but an unearned run as the Hornets posted a 1-0 victory.
Wilson struck out five, walked two and hit a batter in six innings of work and Kehrees struck out the side in the seventh to earn the save.
“That’s what we’ve got to have,” stated Hornets head coach Terry Harper. “I think, eventually, our bats will come along. The defense played good. Ryan worked ahead in the count and that’s what we want — work ahead in the count, throw strikes and we’ve got a chance. He gave us a chance all night. He just did a heck of a job. If we can get a performance like that, we’ve got a chance every game we play.
“Alex looked better than I’ve seen him look so far,” added the coach. “He threw the ball really, really well.”
The game’s only run came in the bottom of the third when Trent Daniel drew a one-out walk, moved to second on a tap to the right side by Tyler Sawyer then scored when Joey Winiecki beat out a slow roller for a single and the hurried throw from Lake Hamilton second baseman Kyle White got past first sacker Tyler Atkins.
Bryant’s only other hit was a lead-off single to right-center by Cody Walker who was thrown out by center fielder Paul Welch when he tried to leg it into a double.
Lake Hamilton’s only threat came in the top of the fourth when the Wolves got their only two hits. The first was a bouncer over the first-base bag off the bat of Matt Hull that Harper argued was actually a foul ball. Wilson struck out the next batter but Sanders laced a 2-0 pitch for a clean single up the middle.
With runners at first and second, Wilson got Phillip Butterfield to bounce back to the mound to retire the side.
He then proceeded to retire the next six in a row before giving way to Kehrees who struck out Welch on three pitches. He then got behind in the count to Sanders but came back to fan him on a 3-2 pitch. Butterfield was called out on strikes to end the game.
Wilson had hit the first batter of the game but left him stranded at first. He worked around a two-out error in the second. His only two walks were issued in the third but, after the first one, catcher Tyler Pickett threw out the base runner as he tried to steal second. After the second walk, Wilson got a force on a grounder to Jake Jackson at second then got Jered Baier to bounce to Walker at short to retire the side.
The Hornets got Winiecki on in the first but he was thrown out trying to steal. Sanders worked around two-out errors in both the fifth and sixth innings to keep it a one-run game.