Because the Monticello Hillbillies baseball team only had 15 players, there were more than a couple that played in both the varsity game and the JV contest at Bryant High School field on Friday night. So it wasn't too surprising — though no less disappointing, of course — that the Billies, who came within an out of defeating the Bryant varsity, forged a 5-1 win in five innings over the Hornets JV.
A pair of Monticello pitchers limited the Hornets to just three hits in the contest, working around three walks and two hit batsmen in the process.[more]
The Billies picked up two runs on three hits and an error in the first inning. After that, Bryant's starting pitcher Blake Davidson retired eight of the nine batters he faced — the only baserunner reaching on an error — before giving way to Matt Neal.
For Bryant, Evan Jobe was hit by a pitch and Cameron Price walked in the first but both were stranded against Taylor Smith, a right-hander who started at first for the Billies' varsity. Smith worked a 1-2-3 second then gave way to another pitcher.
The Hornets got on the board in the third when Ozzie Hurt slapped a single to right and advanced on a groundout by Hayden Daniel. Jobe and Landon Pickett drew walks to load the bases and Hurt scored on a wild pitch. But Jobe and Pickett were stranded.
Monticello added three runs in the top of the fourth. The first came on a walk, a single, a balk and a base hit. A force-out got a second run home and, with two down, a triple provided the third run.
Josh Pultro beat out an infield hit to start the Bryant fourth. Jimi Easterling sacrificed him to second but he could get no further.
After Neal worked around an error and a walk in the top of the fifth, the Hornets appeared to have something going in the home half when Daniel doubled and Jobe was hit by a pitch again. But the Billies turned a double play and a strikeout ended the contest.