Yant spins shutout at Diamonds
EDITOR’S NOTE: In this time of COVID-19, with no sports action, BryantDaily.com will be posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
In his previous start against the Little Rock Diamonds, Scott Yant allowed just four hits but he absorbed a loss as the Diamonds managed three runs — two of them unearned — while Yant’s Bryant Blacksox teammates were limited to just one scratch hit.
It was Yant’s lone loss this season and a gut-wrencher.
But he got a second chance against the Diamonds in a first-place showdown on Tuesday, June 24. This time, he scattered four hits again and shut them out. And the Sox got him a few runs to work with as they pulled into a first-place tie with the Little Rock team thanks to a 6-0 win at Bryant High School Field.
Yant walked just one and fanned five as he improved to 4-1 on the season and the Sox picked up their 20th in in 26 games this season, the second best start to a campaign in 10 years under manager Craig Harrison.
Scott Peeler, returning from the injured list, busted out with a 3-for-3 night at the plate, driving in two runs. Dustin Tinkler went 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI.
But Yant would have all the runs he’d need in the bottom of the first when B.J. Wood scored after cracking an opposite-field double. Todd Bryan moved him to third with a single then he scored when Derek Chambers grounded into a force.
In the second, Peeler drilled his first hit, a single up the middle. He advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit by Tinkler.
Yant pitched around an error in the first and his teammates turned a doubleplay to erase Chris Houk who had led off the frame with a single to left. In the third, Jonathan Ashworth doubled to left-center to start things off but Yant retired the next three to strand him at third.
That started a string in which the right-hander, who red-shirted at UALR this spring, retired 10 straight before issuing a walk with one out in the sixth. A two-out single by Jeff Mack provided the Diamonds with the lone instance in which they put two runners on base at the same time in the ballgame. But Yant got Brett Hays to bounce to second to end the inning.
Meanwhile, the Sox added to their lead with a run in the fourth and three in the fifth. In the fourth, Travis Wood walked, took second on a base hit by Andrew Norman and scored on Peeler’s second hit. Tinkler singled again to load the bags but Little Rock got a force at the plate on Dustin Easterly’s grounder to third then out of the inning as B.J. Wood grounded to second.
In the fifth, however, walks to Bryan and Chambers set up a game-breaking uprising. Bryan swiped third and scored on a single by Travis Wood and, after Jeff Carpenter got a sacrifice bunt down, a run scored on Norman’s groundout. Peeler capped his big night with an RBI single to set the final score.