Hornets garner honors after league championship season

Tyler Sawyer, all-state and all-conference. (Photo by Rick Nation)

Three-year lettermen Tyler Sawyer and Kaleb Jobe, the only two returning starters for the 2008 Bryant Hornets have been named Class 7A All-State performers with classmate Justin Blankenship earning All-State second team.

That trio led the Hornets to a 22-8 overall record and the championship of the 7A-Central Conference under first-year head coach Kirk Bock.

All three were also named all-conference along with teammates Hunter Mayall, Ben Wells, Brennan Bullock and Garrett Bock. Mayall, a sophomore who led the team in hitting with a .429 average, was also named to the Class 7A All-State tournament team.

Sawyer and Jobe are also in the running for invitations to the annual Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star game this summer.[more]

Kaleb Jobe, all-state and all-conference. (Photo by Rick Nation)

Sawyer, who led the team in wins on the mound with six, struck out 64 and walked just 16 in 46 innings, finishing with a 3.65 earned run average. He also had a save. At the plate, he hit .416 (32 of 77) with eight doubles, a triple, a homer and 22 runs batted in.

"He was one of our two bellcows along with Jobe," Coach Bock commented. "He was a guy that we could go to and just did a tremendous job with leading the club. He wasn't necessarily a vocal leader but definitely a leader on the field and off the field with his work ethic which was tremendous. He never missed a workout and worked as hard as he possibly could at everything he did.

Justin Blankenship, second team all-state and all-conference. (Photo by Rick Nation)

"Basically, the same thing goes for Kaleb," added the coach. "He wasn't a vocal leader but the leadership qualities that he showed on the field as far as playing hard and doing the right things, being a good teammate, were excellent. 

Jobe was 1-1 on the mound but led the team with three saves. In 29 2/3 innings, he fanned 24 and walked just nine. His ERA was 3.54. At the plate, he hit .388 and led the team with three homers, 23 runs batted and 21 walks while striking out just nine times. He also compiled a team-best 16 game hitting streak during the season. He reached base safely in every Bryant game except one.

Blankenship, the team's right-fielder, hit at a torrid pace late in the season. He started the season batting just .189 in the first six games but caught fire and built his average up to as high as .429 before finishing at .420, second only to Mayall. He matched Jobe for the team lead in runs batted in with 23 and paced the team with nine doubles.

Brennan Bullock. (Photo by Rick Nation)

"JB's the most improved guy I've very been around," Coach Bock asserted. "Not saying that he had a long way to improve. He came in as another baseball player but he's going out as a pretty dadgum good one that'll have an opportunity to play in college. JB's one of those guys that anybody would miss the most because of his sense of humor, great kid. He never takes anything just too seriously but when it comes time to work, he knows when he has to be serious. He's a great teammate."

Bullock, a junior outfielder, hit .333 with 16 runs batted in, 18 walks, six steals and he scored 17 times. "It seemed like when we needed a hit to end a game or to start an inning so we could end the game, he was the guy," Bock related. "You know, you'd look at him in just a regular old game, he just kind of plugs away but when you needed something big to happen, he was right there and he made it happen."

Garrett Bock. (Photo by Rick Nation)

Wells began the season as a starter for the Hornets but finished it as the closer, picking up two saves during the team's run to the league title. The junior right-hander was 4-2 with a 2.77 ERA. In 43 innings, he struck out 48. "I thought he did a tremendous job coming out of the 'pen and closing games down," commented the coach. "He was a guy we had confidence in, that we knew was going to come in and throw strikes, change speeds, and he did a great job in that role."

Garrett Bock, a junior outfielder, gamely fought through a painful hip malady much of the season before finally having to come out about three-fourths of the way through. "I'm just proud that he's an extremely hard worker," Coach Bock said of his son. "He knows the game and he never quits. A lot of guys play when they feel good but Garrett played when he was in a lot of pain and I appreciate that. He plugged a way and did a great job for us."

Hunter Mayall. (Photo by Rick Nation)

Mayall not only led the team in batting, he had the most hits (39), scored the most runs (24), drove in 18 and walked 14 times while striking out just five times in a team-high 91 at bats.

"A sophomore that just kind of came out of nowhere," Coach Bock said. "He was a guy we had to have in the lineup. He developing as a good third baseman. We kind of got him late because he was injured coming out of football but once he got healthy, he can play at any level, offensively for sure. He just needs to refine his skills defensively, and he will. He was a tremendous asset to the club." 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2009 BRYANT HORNETS STATS

Final through 30 games

Name AB R H D T HR BI *BB SO SB BA

Landon Pickett 6 3 3 1 0 0 3 0 1 0 .500

Hunter Mayall 91 24 39 7 0 0 18 14 5 6 .429

Chris Joiner 21 9 9 3 0 0 3 5 3 1 .429

Justin Blankenship 69 22 29 9 3 1 23 10 8 6 .420

Tyler Sawyer 77 13 32 8 1 1 22 17 9 1 .416

Jacob Clark 5 5 2 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 .400

Kaleb Jobe 80 9 31 4 0 3 23 21 9 0 .388

Caleb Garrett 63 23 23 4 0 0 9 7 15 12 .365

Lucas Castleberry 14 2 5 0 0 0 3 3 3 1 .357

Brennan Bullock 78 17 26 0 0 0 16 18 15 6 .333

Austin Benning 6 2 2 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 .333

Brady Butler 72 14 22 4 0 0 17 21 20 2 .306

Garrett Bock 51 10 15 1 0 0 5 8 4 2 .294

Hunter Alford 16 5 4 2 0 0 5 2 3 1 .250

Tyler Brown 57 10 13 2 0 0 12 7 7 1 .228

Jonathan Wade 14 23 3 2 0 0 5 4 2 4 .214

Jordan Taylor 18 3 2 0 0 0 2 5 6 2 .111

Caleb Milam 11 1 1 0 0 0 3 2 5 0 .090

B.J. Ellis 8 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 1 .000

Evan Jobe 7 8 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 0 .000

Austin Queck 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .000

Ben Wells 6 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 4 0 .000

Dylan Cross 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .000

Totals 777 205 261 47 4 5 174 161 124 47 .336

Name W-L IP R ER H *BB SO **ERA

Matt Neal 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 —–

Bo Stitch 0-0 0.2 0 0 1 0 0 0.00

Jordan Taylor 3-1 18.2 5 2 14 6 29 0.75

Landon Pickett 1-0 6.1 2 2 3 3 4 2.21

Ben Wells 4-2 43 28 17 37 26 48 2.77

Caleb Milam 3-1 26 14 12 37 12 16 3.23

Blake Davidson 2-0 12.1 8 6 13 13 11 3.41

Kaleb Jobe 1-1 29.2 18 15 37 9 24 3.54

Tyler Sawyer 6-3 46 31 24 52 16 64 3.65

Tyler Brown 1-0 2.2 2 2 5 2 3 5.25

Austin Queck 0-0 3 5 4 5 3 1 9.33

Totals 21-8 188.1 113 84 204 91 200 3.12

Saves: Jobe 3, Wells 2, Pickett 1, Sawyer 1.

*includes hit by pitch.

**based on earned runs per seven innings.

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