Photos courtesy of Samantha Breeding
WACO, Texas — In his first varsity start as a sophomore for the Bryants, right-hander Blaine Knight faced the Midlothian, Texas, Panthers in a tournament in Waxahatchie, Texas. It being the first was, no doubt, the only thing Knight would want to remember about it.
The Panthers pinned a 9-0 loss on Knight and the Hornets.
On Saturday at Midway High School in Waco, Knight, who hasn’t suffered another loss for the Hornets since then (going 14-0), got another shot at them and proceeded to spin a three-hit shutout as the Hornets earned a 7-0 win.
Knight fanned eight and walked one in the six-inning contest.
Offensively, the Hornets got three hits from Evan Lee as well as Garrett Misenheimer. Drew Tipton had two hits and provided a highlight when he, Josh Hastings and Lee pulled off a triple steal with Tipton swiping home.
The only inning in which Mithlothian got two batters on base was the top of the first when Zach Humphreys reached on an error, stole second and, with one out, Garrett Hofstad drew the lone walk Knight gave up.
But the Bryant hurler picked off Humphreys at second then struck out Jimmy Fouse to end the threat.
That was the start of eight consecutive batters Knight retired before J.B. Garrett singled up the middle with one out in the top of the fourth. By then the Hornets had grabbed a 2-0 lead.
In the home first, Tipton lined a single to left and, with one out, Lee yanked a base hit into right. With two down, Brandan Warner came through in the clutch with a shot up the middle for an RBI single. Trey Breeding drew a walk to load the bases but Midlothian starter Caleb Bly got out of the inning.
The second run came in the bottom of the third. Lee and Blake Patterson each singled and moved up on a balk. Warner then squeezed in Lee to make it 2-0.
Knight got around Garrett’s single in the top of the fourth with the help of Breeding, his catcher, who gunned him out trying to steal second, ending the inning.
Bryant added on in the bottom of the inning. Misenheimer beat out an infield hit and advanced on a wild pitch. Connor Tatum sacrificed him to third. Walks to Jake East and Tipton loaded the bases. Bly then walked Jason Hastings to force in a run.
Lee lined an RBI single to right and, with two down, noticing reliever Grant Adams was slow to the plate, head coach Kirk Bock gave the steal sign to Tipton, who slid home safely at the front of the triple steal.
Adams walked Warner but got out of the inning without further damage.
Bryant led 5-0 going into the bottom of the fifth. Knight struck out Fouse then Jaycek Jackson cracked a double. But, again, Knight picked him off before ending the inning with another strikeout.
In the home fifth, Misenheimer shot a single up the middle, Tatum sacrificed, East walked and Tipton cracked an RBI single to left to make it 6-0.
Knight worked around a two-out double by Humphreys and when the Hornets scored another run in the bottom of the inning, the game was called due to the lead and the time-limit.
Patterson scored the final tally after he led off the home sixth with a walk, took second on a balk and, after Breeding walked, raced home on Misenheimer’s third hit, a single to right.
The Hornets wrapped up their trip to Waco in a game against Tyler Lee following the win over Midlothian.