Lake Hamilton pins second straight loss on Hornets

By Rob Patrick

PEARCY — Except for one inning, Bryant’s Blake Davidson held the Lake Hamilton Wolves to no runs on just one hit.

Except for one inning, Lake Hamilton’s Jon Rucker held the Bryant Hornets to no runs on no hits.

The one exception for Rucker was the first when the Hornets took advantage of two errors with three hits to score two runs. They stranded two.

The one exception for Davidson was the third when the Wolves took advantage of a walk and three hits to score four times, leaving no one on.

And that was the difference as Lake Hamilton pinned a 4-2 loss on the Hornets on Saturday afternoon.[more]

The Wolves, coming off a thrilling 3-2 win over 6A-South Conference rival El Dorado on Friday, improved to 9-4 on the season. The Hornets, coming off a 9-5 loss to 7A-Central Conference rival Van Buren on Thursday, fell to 15-3.

Bryant will try to bounce back on Tuesday when they host the Russellville Cyclones in a league game.

The game started with Chris Joiner lacing a single to left. Garrett Bock got down a sacrifice bunt that was misplayed by Rucker. With Joiner at second and Bock at first, Hunter Mayall beat out a bunt for a base hit to load the bases.

With one out, Jordan Taylor hit a grounder to second. Lake Hamilton’s Randy Young field it but, in trying to get the force at second, he overthrew shortstop Levi Runyan. Joiner and Bock scored to make it 2-0 but Mayall was caught in a rundown and tagged out.

Brady Butler followed with a single to right that got Taylor to third but Rucker got out of the inning by getting Tyler Brown to bounce to third.

Butler’s hit was the last one of the game for the Hornets. Rucker issued a walk to Bock in the third but he was thrown out trying to steal. In the fourth, Butler drew a free pass with one out but, with two down, he was forced at second to end the inning.

Bock walked again with two down in the fifth but was stranded as Rucker proceeded to retire the last seven batters in a row.

Davidson, on the other hand, pitched around an error in the first and a two-out walk in the second. In the third, however, he issued a walk to Young. Tyler Bradshaw sacrificed him to second then Davidson and Runyan battled to a 3-2 count. Runyan fought off and fouled two pitches then stroked a single to center to drive in Young.

Dalton Daniels singled. Davidson then got within a strike of retiring Jacob Szmuc but his 2-2 delivery was slapped down the right-field line for an RBI double that tied the game.

A wild pitch allowed Daniels to score, snapping the tie then Carter Greathouse hit a fly to deep right for a sacrifice, bringing in Szmuc.

So, with two out in the third inning, the final score was on the board.

The sacrifice fly started a stretch in which Davidson retired eight in a row. In the sixth, he surrendered a single to Szmuc and a two-out walk to Cody Jackson but got out of the inning by getting Tanner Neighbors to fly out to Bock in center.

Earlier in the season, the Hornets came from behind to beat the Wolves, 5-4 in eight innings at Bryant. 

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