Lake Hamilton slammed by Bryant
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, BryantDaily.com will continue 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).
J.J. Yant smacked his second home run in as many days and Michael McClellan went 4-for-4 as the Bryant Hornets took advantage of eight walks and four errors to whip the Lake Hamilton Wolves 9-4 at Ashley Park on Friday.
Josh Caldwell and Allen Young combined to limit the Wolves to just three hits, though one was a two-run homer in the sixth.
But, by that time, the Hornets had the game under control, 9-0.
They had gained the advantage initially with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Tad Beene led off with a walk. He swiped second and took third when Billy Landers reached on an error. Landers stole second then a wild pitch allowed Beene to score the game’s first run. Landers, who took third on the play, scored on a groundout by J.J. Yant.
After the Hornets turned a doubleplay to get out of a two-on, one-out jam in the top of the second, they added another pair of runs. Again, a walk to Beene, who drew four free passes in the contest, started things, though he was forced out on Landers’ grounder to third.
Landers, in turn, stole second and took third when the Lake Hamilton second baseman couldn’t handle the throw. Yant walked and courtesy runner Luke Brown stole second. McClellan then drove home two with a single to left.
It stayed 4-0 until the bottom of the fourth when Beene walked, Landers sacrificed him to second then Yant unloaded with a drive to center, a day after he’d belted a solo homer in a 3-2 win over Little Rock Catholic.
McClellan kept the inning going with his third hit of the game. An out later, Caldwell reached on an error. Travis Lawhon was hit by a pitch to load the bases then Brandon Fitts took one for the team to force in a run, making it 7-0.
The Hornets capped their scoring in the home fifth. A walk to Beene once more provided the catalyst. Two outs later, McClellan smacked his fourth single. Kris Kuykendall walked and Caldwell delivered the run when his grounder to short was misplayed.
On the mound, Caldwell had worked around a hit batsman in the fourth, thanks to Bryant’s second doubleplay of the game. In the fifth, nothing became of a one-out single.
In the sixth, however, Lake Hamilton broke up the shutout bid. Young issued a lead-off walk and, an out later, a two-run homer.
In the seventh, the Wolves utilized a walk, a pair of wild pitches, an error and a sacrifice fly to plate two more but, after that, Young closed the door, finishing the game with his third strikeout in two innings of work.
The win was Bryant’s fourth in a row, improving its record to 5-3 going into a showdown with highly-ranked Little Rock Mills on Saturday in the opener of the Sheridan Invitational Tournament.