Photos courtesy of JAnn Boyd Lessenberry
TAMPA, Fla. — One way then another, the Bryant Hornets added two more victories to their total at[more] the Tampa Bay High School Spring Training event at Walter Fuller baseball complex on Tuesday.
In their first game, left-hander Jason Hastings spun a three-hit shutout at the Blue Devils of Poly Prep Country Day High School from Brooklyn, N.Y., in a 4-0 win. The Hornets turned around and out-slugged the Lancers of St. Louis, Mo., Lutheran South High School.
Now 3-1 on the trip, the Hornets were set to take off on Wednesday to enjoy Universal Studios theme park. On Thursday, they’re set for rematches against Lutheran South and Brandon, Fla., Faith Baptist, the team that edged them 4-3 on Monday.
Bryant is 9-5 overall this season.
Bryant 4, Brooklyn, N.Y., Poly Prep 0
Against Poly Prep, Hastings walked three, struck out five and completed the game in 92 pitches. The Blue Devils only managed a two-out single in the first, a two-out double in the second and a bunt single in the third. Hastings faced one over the minimum the rest of the way. A walk in the fifth was erased by a pickoff and another in the sixth was wiped out by a doubleplay.
Marcus Wilson and Trevor Ezell had two hits each to pace the Hornets offensively. Wilson drove in two and scored twice. Ty Harris and Korey Thompson each contributed a double.
As it turned out, the Hornets got the only run Hastings would need in the second when Wilson singled, Dale was hit by a pitch, Daniel walked and a passed ball brought Wilson home.
It stayed 1-0 until the Hornets added three insurance runs in the fifth. Tyler Green’s lead-off walk set the inning in motion. Ezell singled to left then Hayden Lessenberry got down a sacrifice bunt putting both runners in scoring position for Wilson, who delivered a shot to right for a two-run single.
Wilson stole second and, on an errant throw from the catcher, scampered to third. He was able to score on a passed ball to make it 4-0.
Bryant 14, St. Louis, Mo., Lutheran South 7
In the win over Lutheran South of St. Louis, the Hornets hammered out 16 hits, taking advantage of nine walks. Ezell was 4 for 4 with four runs batted in and four runs scored. Green, Lessenberry, Wilson and Austin Caldwell each had two hits with Caldwell driving home five.
Freshmen Zach Jackson and Evan Lee combined with senior Hayden Daniel on the mound. Jackson allowed just one run through four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth. Lee relieved with two down and got out of the inning then surrendered a pair of runs in the sixth before Daniel came into the get the final out of the inning. He would close it out with a scoreless seventh.
Bryant built a 5-0 lead over the first two innings and held a 6-1 edge going into the bottom of the fifth when Lutheran South rallied within 6-5. The Hornets answered those four runs with four of their own in the top of the sixth. It was 10-7 going into the seventh and the Hornets put the game away with another four spot.
Bryant took a 2-0 lead in the opening frame. Ezell walked with one out, stole second and advanced to third on Lessenberry’s grounder to short. Walks to Wilson and Dale loaded the bases then Caldwell singled to center to plate Ezell and Wilson.
Jackson eased through a 1-2-3 home second and the Hornets went back to work at the dish in the top of the second. With one out, Harris slapped a single to left. Thompson followed in kind and Green drew a walk to set the table for Ezell who shot a single to center to drive in a pair. He reached second and Green was called out on an appeal as he missed third on the way home.
But Ezell swiped third and scored on Lessenberry’s base hit to right, making it 5-0.
Both teams were retired in order then Lutheran South managed its first base-runner on an error to open the bottom of the third. It led to the Lancers’ first run.
The Hornets got that run back in the top of the fifth when Wilson singled, stole second and scored on Caldwell’s shot to center for an RBI single.
Jackson retired the first two he faced in the bottom of the fifth but a bloop single to right started the St. Louis team’s rally.
The Hornets’ answering salvo commenced with a one-out single to center by Green. Ezell ripped a double that chased Green home all the way from first then Ezell came around on a single to right by Lessenberry. Courtesy runner Connor Tatum sprinted to third when Wilson belted a two-bagger to right and, after Dale was walked intentionally to load the bases, Caldwell hit a grounder to short that got through for an error allowing two more to score, making it 10-5.
Lutheran South used a one-out walk, a single and a passed ball to plate a run in the home half of the frame. A two-out single got the second run home before Daniel came on and retired the side with a strikeout.
In the top of the seventh, Thompson drew a lead-off walk and Chase Tucker came on to run for him. Green and Ezell then whacked back-to-back doubles. Though Green was thrown out at the plate, the inning continued with walks to Lessenberry and Wilson to set the table for Dale who cracked a single to left to make it 13-7.
Caldwell followed with a blooper to right that had Dale holding up between first and second. The ball fell in and Dale was forced at second but Wilson scored to set the final score.
Daniel worked around a two-out double in the bottom of the inning, ending it by inducing a grounder to Brandan Warner at third.