Hornets capture Sheridan tourney title
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).
By ROB PATRICK
SHERIDAN — Andrew Norman hit his second home run of the season — this one might’ve been, might not have — and Scott Peeler and Justin Wells led a 13-hit attack as the Bryant Hornets captured the championship of the Sheridan Invitational Tournament with a 14-2 romp in the finals over the host team on Thursday, March 6.
Norman’s blast, a two-run shot that disappeared in the dark left-field corner at Oliver Williams Park, was protested by Sheridan. Left fielder Jamey Allen and head coach Mike Moore insisted the ball had landed foul and short of the fence. Norman had actually stopped at second, believing the ball had hit the fence. But the homeplate umpire ruled that the ball hit the foul pole and was, indeed, a homer.
“I couldn’t see it,” admitted Bryant manager Terry Harper. “I thought I heard it hit the fence and the umpire said he saw it hit the foul pole. I said, ‘Well, if it hit the foul pole, that’s a home run.’”
Home run or not, it may have been academic to the outcome of the game. The Hornets already had built a 9-2 lead before that as they improved to 4-0 on the season heading into their AAAAA-Central Conference opener at North Little Rock.
B.J. Wood, in his first pitching appearance, got the win, going four innings, fanning six and walking one. He gave up five hits but only one of the two runs he surrendered was earned. Daniel Price, who struggled in his previous appearance, turned in a sparkling relief job, with two shutout innings to end the game.
Wood struggled early. In the first, he gave up a run on three hits including Russ Carey’s two-out RBI double. But with runners at second and third, he fanned Chase Buie to end the threat at that.
In the second, a pair of infield hits and an error accounted for Sheridan’s second run. After the second hit, however, Wood set down eight in a row and nine of 10 to finish out his mound stint.
The Hornets took the lead for good with a four-run second. Travis Wood helped out his big brother with a lead-off double. He reached third when Daniel Minton was robbed of a hit by Carey at third. Justin Woods was hit by a pitch then Andrew Moseley slapped an RBI single to right to tie the game at 1.
Wells followed with a single to right that chased Woods home and Moseley to third. Woods scored when A.J. Nixon’s grounder to short was kicked then Wells raced home from second on B.J. Wood’s single up the middle.
It was 4-2 into the top of the fourth when, with two down, Korey Hunter worked for a walk and Norman reached on an error. Travis Wood walked to load the bases for Peeler who ripped a single to center. Hunter and courtesy runner Richie Wood scored and, when the ball was misplayed in center, so did Wood, making it 7-2.
The fifth began with a double by Zach Young and a bunt single by Wells. After Wells swiped second, Young scored on a sacrifice fly by B.J. Wood. Wells scored as Hunter reached on an error, setting the table for Norman’s shot.
Price entered in the bottom of the fifth and worked around a single and a walk, getting a strikeout to end the inning.
Bryant tacked on three more runs in the sixth as Peeler, Todd Bryan, Price and Josh Groves smacked consecutive singles, the latter driving in a pair. Nick Dorsey’s sacrifice fly chased Price home with the final tally.
In the bottom of the inning, an error and a single failed to rattle Price who ended the game with his second strikeout.