March 31 in Bryant athletic history: 2000

Bryant muscles up, pounds Leopards

EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, will continue posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).

After an oh-fer trip to Florida over Spring break, the Bryant Hornets returned home Friday, March 31, and took their frustrations out on the Malvern Leopards. Four Hornets pounded home runs, including Anthony Rose’s grand slam, as Bryant snapped a six-game losing streak with a 16-6 win at Ashley Park.

Dustin Morris, Matt Brown and Cody Graddy contributed solo blasts. Brown and Morris had back-to-back jacks in the second then Graddy’s shot to lead off the bottom of the fifth ended the game as the Hornets run-ruled the Leopards.

The victory improved the Hornets to 11-9 and, because Monday’s game against Sylvan Hills was washed out due to rain, it proved to be the team’s final warm-up before opening AAAAA-South Conference play at home against Pine Bluff on Tuesday, April 4.

Junior lefty Brad Chism picked up the win, shutting out Malvern over the first three innings while the Hornets built a 12-0 lead.

The onslaught began with a five-run first. Matt White walked then Brown reached on an error. Brown swiped second then Morris singled in a run. After Anthony Rose reached on an error, Michael McClellan drew a walk. With two down, Drew Lawson’s grounder to third was botched allowing a run to score. Chris Sory walked then Tad Beene capped the inning with a two-run single.

After Chism worked around a single and a walk in the top of the second, the Hornets flexed their muscled in the bottom of the inning. Brown drilled the second pitch of the frame for his homer and, a pitch later, Morris cranked one out.

The Leopards went down in order in the top of the third then the Hornets’ offense went back to work in the home half. Walks to Lawson and Sory opened the inning up. With one out, White singled to load the bases then Brown and Morris came through with RBI raps before Rose unloaded with the bags juiced to make it 12-0.

Malvern strung together three hits and took advantage of a Bryant error to plate three runs in the top of the fourth, but the Hornets got two of those back in their turn, with reserves stepping in.

A walk to Sory and an error on a ball hit by Scott Yant opened the door. With one down, Kevin Littleton singled to load the bases. Ryan Sanders grounded into a force at second but picked up an RBI as Sory scored. Walks to Derek Chambers and Chism forced in the second run to make it 15-3.

Malvern stayed alive with a pair of runs on a walk, two errors and a hit in the fifth but, when Graddy led off the home fifth with his solo blast, the game was over.

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