ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jordan Gentry went 3 for 3 with four runs batted in as the Bryant Hornets bounced back from their first loss earlier in the day to rip the Maple Grove, Minn., Crimson on Thursday 13-2.
Maple Grove handed the Hornets a 7-6 loss Thursday morning. The afternoon win improved Bryant to 9-1 overall and 5-1 in Florida going into Friday’s finale against Eastview, Minn., at 10 a.m.
Austin Kelly and Alex Shurtleff each contributed two hits for the Hornets in Thursday’s win. Shurtleff and Scott Schmidt each drove in two runs.
Freshman Logan Grant picked up the win with three innings on the mound, scattering six hits and allowing two runs. He walked no one and fanned five. Aaron Orender pitched two shutout innings to close out the victory. He allowed a hit and a walk, while fanning four.
The Hornets piled up a 9-0 lead before Maple Grove broke through with two runs in the bottom of the third. A four-run fourth put the game in run-rule territory.
The game started with Evan Lee reaching base on an error. Konnor Clontz entered as a courtesy runner and Gentry chased him home with a triple to left.
With Matthew Sandidge in as a courtesy runner for Gentry, Shurtleff got a squeeze bunt down to make it 2-0.
With two down, Schmidt revved things up again with a double to right. Kelly switched places with him by ripping a two-bagger to right as well.
Grant struck out the first two batters he faced before giving up a single and a double. But he kept the Crimson off the board by inducing a grounder to Schmidt at second to end the threat.
Logan Chambers got Bryant’s second started with an infield single. Myers Buck walked then Lee was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Gentry who drilled a two-run single to center. Shurtleff singled in a run and, moments later, Joey Cates came through with a sacrifice fly to plate Sandidge.
Shurtleff tagged and went to third on the play then he scored when Schmidt got a squeeze bunt down, making it 8-0.
Grant fanned two more in a 1-2-3 home second and the Hornets tacked one on in the top of the third. With two down, Lee drilled a double and Gentry spanked an RBI single to right.
An infield hit, a stolen base, a wild pitch and a single to left produced the Minnesota team’s first run in the bottom of the third. Two more singles followed and it was 9-2 before the third out came on a pop to Schmidt at second.
Bryant’s fourth-inning outburst commenced when Cates led off with a single. He stole second and took third on an errant throw. Schmidt’s squeeze bunt made it 10-2.
Kelly walked to keep the inning going. Cameron Coleman singled to center and, with one out, Buck was hit by a pitch to fill the sacks. Kelly scored on a wild pitch then Jake Wright’s grounder to second was botched allowing both Coleman and Buck to score, setting the final margin.
Orender relieved and pitched around a two-out walk and an infield hit. He then struck out the side in the bottom of the fifth to end the game.
The Hornets will be returning home after Friday’s game. They’re set to host Pine Bluff on Thursday, March 31.
Before opening 7A/6A-Central Conference play with a doubleheader at Greenwood on Friday, April 1.