Hornets snap brief skid with win over Grizzlies

File photo by Kevin Nagle

Additional photos courtesy of James Sanding

Brandon Hoover (Photo courtesy of James Sandidge)

FORT SMITH — Matthew Sandidge had three hits including an inside-the-park home run and four runs batted in to lead the Bryant Hornets to a 7-2 win over the Fort Smith Northside Grizzlies on Friday night.

Seth Tucker, Will McEntire and Boston Heil combined to limit the Grizzlies to two runs, one earned on six hits as the Hornets snapped three-game skid improving to 12-7 overall and 5-3 in 7A-Central Conference play going into Tuesday’s game at home against Little Rock Catholic.

Friday’s game was scoreless over the first three innings. Tucker worked around a one-out walk to Grant Johnson and a single by Bobby Rauch in the second. In the third, there were two out when he plunked a pair of batters but included a grounder to Scott Schmidt at second to end the threat.

Seth Tucker (Photo courtesy of James Sandidge)

The Hornets broke through in the fourth when, with two down, Jake Wright worked a walk. Courtesy runner Logan Grant raced to third on a single by Schmidt and when the throw went to third, Schmidt hustled to second. Myers Buck walked and the bases were loaded.

A wild pitch allowed Grant to score before Brandon Hoover ripped an RBI single to center. Sandidge pulled a single to right to drive in Buck. Moments later, Hoover scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0.

Northside answered by scoring its two runs in the home half of the inning. With one out, Rauch beat out an infield hit. Will Zuerker singled and, after Rauch scored on a wild pitch, Corbin Dishner singled. The ball was misplayed in the outfield and Zuerker was ab le to score.

Myers Buck (Photo courtesy of James Sandidge)

But, with a runner at second and the potential tying run at the plate, Tucker struck out the next two batters to keep it 4-2.

Coby Greiner singled to start the Bryant fifth. Wright got a bunt down and beat it out for a single. Schmidt sacrificed them to second and third but Jackson Scrivner, the Northside pitcher, wriggled out of the jam.

In the bottom of the fifth, Tucker struck out Scrivner for his fifth strikeout of the game. But, a walk to Max Frazier followed and Hornets head coach Travis Queck brought in McEntire who induced a grounder to Konnor Clontz at third. That started an inning-ending doubleplay.

Sandidge then led off the top of the sixth with his inside-the-park poke to make it a 5-2 game.

McEntire fanned two while pitching around a one-out single by Rauch in the bottom of the sixth.

The Hornets tracked on two more runs in the top of the seventh. Wright drew a lead-off walk then Schmidt clubbed a double. With two down, Sandidge came through again, this time with a two-run single to cap the scoring.

McEntire got his third strikeout in a row to start the home seventh but Jake Rincon singled to left and Scrivner walked.

Heil relieved and got Frazier to bounce to third. Clontz got a force at second. The game ended moments later when Heil fanned Hunter Linam.

Matthew Sandidge is greeted by his teammates after hitting an inside-the-park home run. (Photo courtesy of James Sandidge)

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