By Rob Patrick
WHITE HALL — Junior right-hander Blake Davidson pitched three perfect innings and the Bryant Hornets overwhelmed the DeWitt Dragons, 19-0, to advance to the championship game of the annual Billy Bock Classic. The Hornets will play either Lake Hamilton or Woodlawn in the title game at Taylor Field in Pine Bluff Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Eighteen Bryant players got to the plate in the four-inning game and 13 of them had hits. Brennan Bullock and Garrett Bock had two each and Landon Pickett blasted a three-run homer to highlight a 12-run fourth.[more]
DeWitt, a Class 4A team, advanced to the tourney semifinal game by beating Lonoke’s JV team in the first round on Thursday, while the Hornets were defeating White Hall. Earlier on Friday, White Hall defeated Lonoke’s varsity 10-1.
The Hornets are now 10-0.
They took a 4-0 lead in the opening inning. Garrett Bock beat out a one-out bunt for a hit and Hunter Mayall walked to set the table for Bullock who shot a double into the gap in left-center to chase Bock in.
After Jordan Taylor walked to load the bases, a two-out error on a pop to shallow right, allowed Lucas Castleberry to reach base as both Mayell and Bullock scored. Taylor scored moments later on a passed ball.
After Davidson struck out the side in the bottom of the inning, Chris Joiner got the offense going again with a single to center. Bock’s base hit to left was followed by a one-out walk to Bullock to load the bags for Taylor who delivered a sacrifice fly. Brady Butler’s two-run single made it 7-0.
Davidson continued to mow down the Dragons. In the third, he was helped my a nice diving play at third by Castleberry that robbed Barrett Whiting of a hit and ended the inning.
The blowout fourth began with Bullock’s second hit. Taylor singled up the middle and Butler was hit by a pitch to load the sacks for Castleberry who lined a two-run single into left-center. Caleb Garrett followed with a double to the fence in left to make it 10-0.
After a pitching change, B.J. Ellis was hit by a pitch to fill the bags again. Bryant head coach Kirk Bock then turned to his bench. Ozzie Hurt hit a bouncer to shortstop Parker Frizzell but his toss to second got past second sacker Hayden Liebrock and all hands were safe including Castleberry at homeplate.
An out later, Tyler Nelson pulled a single into right to knock in Garrett. With the bags full, Cameron Price drew an RBI walk, forcing another pitching change.
Hayden Daniel’s grounder to third resulted in a force there for the second out of the inning as Hurt scored. Pickett followed and worked the count to 3-0 before unloading for a long homer to left-center, making it 17-0.
Walks to Tyler Brown and Evan Jobe kept the inning going. Matt Neal slapped a single to right to load the bases once again. With the base runners moving station to station, Hurt singled in a run then Josh Pultro did as well to complete the scoring.
In the bottom of the inning, Frizzell broke up Davidson’s perfect game with a double down the right-field line. An infield single by Liebrock followed. But the Hornets then turned a unique, impressive doubleplay. Gunner Knoll hit a grounder to Brown at third. He got Frizzell to hold up then threw to Hurt for a force at second. Alertly, Daniel covered third from his position at shortstop. He took the relay from Hurt and tagged out Frizzell for the second out.
Collin Hornbeck drew a walk but, three pitches later, Ellis picked him off first to end the game.