Hornets 6-0 after topping ’Dogs
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 — Bryan Griffith and Korey Hunter each drove in two runs and Justin Wells pitched five shutout innings as the Bryant Hornets improved to 6-0 on the season with an 8-3 win over the White Hall Bulldogs at the Sheridan Tournament Monday, March 8.
The Hornets were set to complete the round-robin portion of the tournament against Sheridan on Tuesday, March 9, before beginning play in the four-team single elimination tournament portion of the event on Wednesday.
White Hall, coming off a 16-7 win over Sheridan on Saturday, ruined the shutout with a three-run sixth, but right-hander Todd Bryan worked out of a bases-loaded jam and worked around a pair of hits in the seventh to finish out the win.
Wells and White Hall right-hander Ben Farrell engaged in a pitchers duel over the first four innings. Bryant erupted for six runs in the fifth to expand their 2-0 lead.
Wells allowed three hits, walked just two and struck out 13 before giving way to Bryan with two on and no one out in the top of the sixth.
The Hornets took the lead initially with a run in the second. Zach Young walked, Dustin Tinkler singled and, after both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, Young scored when Andrew Moseley’s grounder to short was booted.
Young reached base all three times he came to the plate. Tinkler had a hit, a walk and a sacrifice.
Those three were all involved in pushing across Bryant’s second run as well. In the fourth, Young was hit by a pitch to lead things off. Tinkler sacrificed him to second and, with two out, Moseley sliced an RBI double down the right-field line.
Meanwhile, Wells was in a stretch in which he struck out eight Bulldogs in a row.
In the bottom of the sixth, Bryan smacked a single past third then Wells drew a walk. Farrell gave way to Roy Agee and Richie Wood got a sacrifice bunt down. Griffith then delivered his two-run single to right to make it 4-0.
Griffith swiped second and scored on Young’s lined single to left. Tinkler followed with a walk and White Hall turned to lefty Colby Smith. Young and Tinkler worked a double steal before Smith issued a walk to Travis Wood to load the bases for Hunter, who cracked a single up the middle to plate two more.
With two down, Hunter broke off first and stayed in a rundown long enough for Travis Wood to race home with the sixth run of the frame.
To start White Hall’s sixth, Wells recorded his 13th strikeout but the third strike was in the dirt. Catcher Josh Groves tracked down the ball but overthrew first to allow Bubba Tuggle to reach. A pitch later, Jacob Johnson drove a double to center.
Bryan, who hadn’t pitched since March 1, came on and surrendered an RBI single, a walk and a sacrifice fly. An infield hit loaded the bases and, with two out, a walk to Jason McDaniel forced in a run to make it 8-3.
But Bryan got lead-off man Sheldon Pratt to ground out to Hunter to end the inning.
Johnson fought off a two-strike pitch in the top of the seventh for a single with one out. Bryan then struck out Cameron Dill before surrendering a bloop single to Matt Bowers.
But Leonard Ogden bounced to short for a force at second to end the game.