Hornets hurlers overpower Wolves
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
The 2004 Bryant Hornets baseball team is blessed with what may be the best and deepest pitching staff the program has ever known. There will be times this season when they overpower the competition. Their season-opening game on Monday, Feb. 23, featuring a pair of pitchers that earned all-State honors as sophomores, provided the first example.
Now, the Lake Hamilton Wolves may not be contenders in the AAAAA-South Conference this season, but who knows? The thing is, Bryant’s Travis Wood and Justin Wells didn’t give them much chance on Monday. Wood, who last summer pitched among the nation’s high school best at the Area Code Games, was clocked at 92 miles per hour (on what the operator called “a slow gun”) as he and Wells combined on a five-inning no-hitter in which each of the Lake Hamilton outs came via strikeout. Wood struck out nine, walked two and hit a batter in three innings. Wells fanned six, walked one and pitched around an error in two innings of relief in Bryant’s 16-0 romp.
In fact, the error came on the only pitch Lake Hamilton batters put into play, a grounder to third that Daniel Price fielded nicely but followed with an errant throw to first.
Offensively, the Hornets hacked out 10 hits including three by junior outfielder Richie Wood and two from senior outfielder Dustin Tinkler.
Their eight-run first would’ve been enough. Todd Bryan and Wells opened the bottom of the first with walks. They then combined on a double steal. On the front of it, Bryan took a forearm to the head as Lake Hamilton third sacker Andrew Davis tried to flag down the throw. He came out of the game with a headache, replaced by Morgan Garner.
Richie Wood followed with his first hit, an RBI single to left.
The bases were loaded with one out when Zach Young reached on an error and Bryan Griffith delivered two more runs with a base hit to left. Tinkler walked and Korey Hunter’s single plated two more, sending Tinkler to third.
Dustin Easterly’s squeeze bunt chased Tinkler home to make it 6-0.
After Garner walked, Wells reached on an error that allowed Hunter to score then Richie Wood produced his second RBI single to cap the inning off.
In the second, Griffith walked, Tinkler singled and took second on a late throw to third. Hunter’s sacrifice fly plated Griffith then Tinkler scored on Easterly’s groundout.
Richie Wood opened the third inning with his third hit. After Travis Wood singled, Young bounced into a force at third. But Davis, trying to double up Young at first, threw wildly, putting runners at second and third. With two out, Tinkler’s second single chased home Hunter Nugent (the courtesy runner for Travis Wood). Young then scored on a wild pitch.
Reserves got in on the fun in the fourth. Travis Queck walked and James Leigh lashed a single to left. After Tinkler walked to load the bases, sophomore Aaron Davidson cracked a sinking liner to left that got past Lake Hamilton’s Kerry Bartholomew for a three-run double.
The Hornets were set to take to the road on Friday, Feb. 27, traveling to West Memphis before beginning play in the Sylvan Hills Tournament on Saturday.