Hornets close out Texas trip with win by tourney tiebreaker

WAXAHATCHIE, Texas — The Bryant Hornets closed out their visit to the Robert Dulin Tournament in[more] Waxahatchie, Texas, with a 4-4 tie with the Stephenville, Texas, Yellowjackets on Saturday. The teams played an extra inning in the game, which was scheduled for five frames. After six, the time limit expired. Based on the tournament tiebreakers, the Hornets was awarded a win.

The Hornets headed home with a 2-3 mark at the tournament. They’re scheduled to host Maumelle on Monday, March 4.

Bryant was seeing its first action of the season against teams that had played several games already. The Hornets had games on Monday and Tuesday before the trip rained out.

“It’s tough to knock the rust off against that kind of competition,” noted Bryant head coach Kirk Bock. “But we played pretty good on day one. Day two, the first game we didn’t play very well at all. We should’ve won the first two games but we didn’t come up with a timely hit that we needed or we didn’t execute the short game or we put ourselves in a bind with — we didn’t boot any balls but we threw some away. Instead of coming out 2-3, we should’ve gone 4-1.

“But the kids are playing real hard,” he added. “I was pleased with the effort.”

Saturday’s game was highlighted by Jason Hastings’ 3 for 3 day at the plate. He scored a run and drove in two. The Hornets finished with nine hits with Tyler Green, Trevor Ezell, Hayden Lessenberry, Harrison Dale, Trey Breeding and Drew Tipton adding hits.

Dale started on the mound and worked into the fourth, surrendering two runs, both unearned, on four hits without a walk. He fanned three. Hayden Daniel finished the fourth then Chase Tucker finished, allowing a run on two hits in two frames. He walked one and fanned five including the last three batters of the contest with runners the potential winning runs on base.

Stephenville took the early lead with a pair of runs in the home first on a hit batsman, a single, an error and a two-out double.

Bryant got on the board in the top of the second. Hastings singled and advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw. With one out, Dale beat out a bunt for a hit. With Marcus Wilson on to run, Breeding delivered Hastings with a sacrifice fly. After Wilson stole second, Austin Caldwell walked and Green was hit by a pitch but that was all the Hornets would get.

Dale struck out the side in the bottom of the second and the Hornets tied it in the top of the third. Ezell led off with a double, took third on Lessenberry’s grounder to the right side and scored on a base hit by Hastings.

A one-out double in the third gave Stephenville a chance to get back on top but Holt induced a shallow fly to Green in center then picked off the runner at second to send it to the fourth.

Bryant responded by taking the lead. Breeding singled and Tipton came on as courtesy runner. With one out, Green singled him to third and, after he stole second, Thompson came through on a squeeze play to pick up the RBI.

Holt retired the first batter of the fourth then surrendered a ringing double to left. Daniel relieved and hit a batter. But, after a wild pitch moved runners to second and third, he induced a pop up to Thompson at second then ended the threat with a strikeout.

Bryant proceeded to take on a run in the top of the fifth on a single by Lessenberry and a triple by Hastings. But the Hornets couldn’t get Hastings home so when Stephenville rallied for two in the bottom of the fifth, it was enough to tie it.

Daniel issued a lead-off walk then gave way to Tucker, who struck out the first two he faced before surrendering back-to-back doubles. A walk put runners at first and second but Tucker got the next batter to bounce to Ezell for a force at second to keep it tied.

Tipton opened the sixth with a single to right, moved up on a grounder to third but was doubled off when Thompson was robbed of a hit on a liner to short.

In the home sixth, a hit batsman and an error put the Yellowjackets in position to get the win but Tucker got the next batter to foul off a third-strike bunt then set down the next two swinging.

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