Hornets JV team finishes season with win over North Little Rock, 16-3-1 mark

The Bryant Hornets junior varsity team closed out its season with two wins in its last three games. In Monday’s finale, they stopped North Little Rock 6-0. On Saturday, they split a pair of games with Sheridan, winning 5-3 then losing 3-1.

The Hornets JV finishes the 2010 season with a 16-3-1 record. Saturday’s loss to Sheridan snapped a 12-game win streak.[more]

Monday’s win included a three-hit shutout by the combination of Matt Neal and Dylan Cross. Over the first three innings, Neal allowed one hit, walked three and struck out a batter. Cross pitched the last two innings, working around a walk in the fourth and a pair of singles and a balk in the fifth.

The Hornets took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Hayden Daniel blooped a single to left then stole second and took third on a Tyler Nelson’s groundout. He scored on a double to left-center by Landon Pickett. A groundout by Cameron Price got Pickett to third and he scored moments later.

In the third, Nelson walked and when Pickett’s grounder to short drew a wild throw to second, both arrived safely. Price bounced into a double play but, with Nelson at third, Lucas Castleberry bounced a single to left for an RBI. Josh Pultro followed with a double over the center fielder’s head to chase home Castleberry, making it 4-0.

Two more runs scored in the fourth to cap the Bryant offense. Evan Jobe walked but was caught stealing. Ozzie Hurt walked but was erased on a force at second on a grounder to short by Daniel. A stolen base by Daniel drew a wild throw to second allowing him to reach third for Nelson, who singled up the middle to drive him home. Pickett drew a walk then Price singled to center to plate Nelson.

Cross was greeted by two singles in the top of the fifth. The runners moved to second and third on a groundout to the right side but Cross picked off the runner at first.

A balk allowed the second baserunner to reach third but he too was picked off and tagged out in a rundown to end the contest.

In Saturday’s win, Pickett went the distance on the mound in the seven-inning game and the Hornets snapped a 3-3 tie with two runs in the top of the sixth to capture the victory.

Price, Marcus Wilson and Daniel each had doubles in the tell-tale sixth.

Pickett pitched around a one-out single in the bottom of the inning then worked a 1-2-3 seventh to close out the victory. He walked just one, struck out seven and allowed five hits.

Sheridan took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Lawson Easley drew a one-out walk, advanced on a passed ball and scored on a single by Grady Finley who took second on the late throw to the plate. After Brandon Rieve grounded to second to get Finley to third, Josh Miller singled to make it 2-0.

In the top of the second, the Hornets countered with a three-run uprising. Blaine Jackson doubled down the left-field line and took third on a single to left by Hayden Lessenberry. A balk allowed Jackson to score and, after Price walked, Jobe was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Wilson, who blooped a single to right. Price scored as well when the ball was bobbled on the relay. A single by Daniel loaded the bases but Nelson’s line to third was caught and turned into a doubleplay to take the starch out of the Bryant uprising.

Pickett worked a 1-2-3 home half of the inning but Nick Ware did as well for Sheridan in the top of the third.

The Yellowjackets tied it in the bottom of the third. Ware and Justin Willis singled with one out then Easley reached on an error to load the bags. Finley’s sacrifice fly tied the game.

In the second game, a five-inning contest, Sheridan’s Zach Perkins held the Hornets to four hits. The lone run came in the second when Lessenberry was hit by a pitch then raced to third when a pickoff throw was wild. He scored on a passed ball as Pultro was drawing a walk.

But Sheridan had taken the lead in the bottom of the first. Willis walked and Easley lined a single to right A passed ball allowed Willis to score. Easley took second, advanced to third on a groundout by Finley then scored on bounce-out by Rieve.

After Bryant cut it to 2-1 in the top of the second, the Jackets added a run in the bottom of the inning when Perkins reached on a two-out error then raced home on a triple by Willis.

Perkins pitched around a lead-off double by Daniel in the third then worked a 1-2-3 fourth. In the fifth, Wilson singled with one out but Daniel grounded into a force at second the game ended on Nelson’s bouncer to second.

In a game played April 29, the Hornets JV drubbed Russellville 15-2, riding a 13-run fourth inning to victory. Daniel, Nelson and Castleberry each had two hits as the Hornets cracked 10 altogether to take advantage of nine walks. Castleberry and Pickett each drove in three runs.

Neal pitched three innings allowing one run on one hit. He walked three and fanned four. Nelson pitched the fourth and surrendered a run on three this and a walk.

On April 20, Cross allowed one run on three hits, walked two and struck out nine in a five-inning 2-1 win over Little Rock Central.

The Hornets’ runs came in the first inning when Daniel tripled to deep left and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Brown. Pickett followed with a single to right-center. Base hits by Price and Wilson brought him around for the second tally.

Central scored in the fourth on a one-out walk, a stolen base and a two-out RBI single.

(Many thanks to Jayme Pultro for providing game play-by-play.)


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