May 21 in Bryant athletic history: 2010

The 2010 Class 7A State champion Bryant Hornets. (Photo courtesy of Phil Pickett)

Wells fires perfect game as Hornets roll to first State baseball championship

EDITOR’S NOTE: In this time of COVID-19, with no sports action, will be posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).

By Rob Patrick

FAYETTEVILLE — On a perfect night, in a perfect place, at a perfect time, the Bryant Hornets’ 2010 season had a perfect ending. The defense was flawless, the offense was opportunistic, and senior right-hander Ben Wells was . . .



The Hornets engage in the tradition State championship dogpile. (Photo courtesy of Phil Pickett)

For the first time in the history of the Bryant High School baseball program, the Hornets are State champions with a stunning 12-0 victory in five innings over 7A-Central Conference rival Van Buren in five innings at the University of Arkansas’ Baum Stadium.

Wells became the first pitcher in state high school baseball history (as far as could be determined) to craft a perfect game in a championship contest. He needed just 60 pitches to mow down the Pointers, fanning six and getting errorless support from his defense including sparkling plays by Brady Butler at first and Jordan Taylor at short along the way. He had a three-ball count to just one batter and wound up with a strikeout on a 3-2 pitch.

Counting the seventh inning of the Hornets’ win over North Little Rock on Saturday in the State quarterfinals and the seventh inning in which he struck out the side to nail down Monday’s 1-0 win over Little Rock Catholic in the semifinals at Burns Park, Wells has pitched seven consecutive perfect innings during the tournament. In fact, you have to go back to the sixth inning of the North Little Rock game to find a baserunner. Shaquille Hayes reached on a swinging bunt that was ruled an infield hit with one out in that inning. So, over three appearances, Wells retired 23 batters in a row.

Hunter Mayall scored four runs during Friday's championship game. (Photo courtesy of Phil Pickett)

Not surprisingly, he was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

He finished with a flurry, striking out two in the bottom of the fifth including Garrett Hightower for the final out.

“I knew going into the last inning,” Wells said. “I knew they didn’t have any hits. I didn’t realize it was a perfect game.”

Asked when he knew he had his best stuff, he answered, “I knew in the first inning when I struck out (Logan Meaders), I really felt like I had all three pitches working. I was able to locate them well. I was getting groundballs the whole game.”

It was the first perfect game in State tourney play since Brian Wiedower of Greenbrier threw one in the preliminary rounds of the 1985 tournament. It’s the first no-hitter in a final since a pair of Pine Bluff pitchers combined on one against Greenwood in 1973.

Offensively, senior Garrett Bock, the only player on the field that had experienced a State high school championship game before — as a sophomore at Harrison — finished his career (all three years playing for his dad, Kirk) going 3 for 3 with three runs batted in. Hunter Mayall was 2 for 3, was on base four times and scored all four times. Brennan Bullock delivered a key two-run single as the Hornets took advantage of five Van Buren errors, six walks and two hit batsmen to overwhelm the Pointers and ace right-hander Brandon Moore.

For Coach Bock, it was his second State title in three years. He won at Harrison in 2008 before coming to Bryant.

Garrett Bock catches the only ball that Van Buren hit out of the infield Friday. (Photo courtesy of Phil Pickett)

“This is great,” he said. “Just the adversity that we’ve had during the season and to come out like this, you can’t ask for anything better. It’s a story-book ending.”

Bock has said the day before the game that defense would be the difference with Wells and Moore going against each other. He was prophetic. With the Hornets made every play, Van Buren’s miscues contributed to three of the four scoring innings for the Hornets.

“We didn’t have to play a whole lot with Wellsy up there,” he related. “I didn’t know how we would swing it but I knew Wells would be a round the zone and we’d have to play some defense. And the kids did a good job.

“Van Buren’s a great club,” he added. “Everything that could go wrong went wrong for them. And when that stuff happens, it’s hard to win.

“I was watching the Lake Hamilton game before us and they went up 6-0 in the second right there and I said, ‘Dang, that’d be nice.’”

It wasn’t quite six but the Hornets had a 5-0 lead by the end of the second.

“We took advantage of some errors right there and we were able to get on the board and that just kind of calmed everybody down,” Bock related. “Our kids played very, very relaxed. I thought we were more tense against Catholic (in the State semifinal on Monday).”

Wells just needed 10 pitches to get through the first inning but Van Buren came about as close to getting a hit as they would when, with two down, Tyler Spoon slapped a rocket up the first base line that Butler speared with a move to his left, fielding it cleanly and easing to first for the putout.

Brennan Bullock's two-run single capped a five-run third for Bryant. (Photo courtesy of Phil Pickett)

In the bottom of the inning, Mayall greeted Moore with a solid single to center on a 2-2 pitch. Garrett Bock sacrificed him to second then Taylor waited out a walk. Chris Joiner followed with a bouncer to the left side that shortstop Logan Patterson ranged to his right to field, making a tough play. He tried got get a throw to second for a force but his throw was late and errant allowing Mayall to score the game’s first run. Taylor wound up on third and, after Joiner stole second, scored on a passed ball.

With two out, Butler grounded to short and reached on a throw in the dirt that allowed Joiner to score, making it 3-0.

Frustrated, Moore fanned B.J. Ellis to end the inning.

Wells eased through a 1-2-3 top of the second which ended with Hightower’s long fly to center that Bock got back to nab.

Jordan Taylor rounds third and heads home with one of Bryant's 12 runs Friday night. (Photo courtesy of Phil Pickett)

That would be the only ball hit by the Pointers that left the infield.

In Bryant’s half, Moore added to his frustration by hitting lead-off batter Tyler Brown. Caleb Garrett tried to sacrifice but Moore bounced off the mound and got the force at second. After a wild pitch allowed Garrett to take second, Mayall blistered a double down the left-field line to chase him home. And when Bock’s drive to left-center got down between the Pointers’ outfielders, he sprinted around the bases for an RBI triple to make it 5-0.

Wells struck out a batter in the top of the third then induced a pair of grounders to Taylor at short. With two down, Taylor had to charge and make a nice play on a tap by Parker Johnson for the third out.

The Hornets then blew the game up with a five-run third. Another Van Buren miscue got the uprising started. Butler’s bouncer to second was booted then he stole second. Ellis got a sacrifice bunt down with two strikes and, after Brown walked, an errant pickoff to first allowed Butler to scamper home.

Garrett grounded into a force but beat the relay to first and, moments later, swiped second. A walk to Mayall brought up Bock who laced an RBI single to center. And when Taylor lashed a base hit up the middle to plate Mayall, Moore’s star-crossed work in the mound was over.

Brady Butler hustles off the field after making one of the top defensive plays of Friday's game in the first inning. (Photo courtesy of Phil Pickett)

Spoon relieved and walked Joiner to load the bags for Bullock. The senior, who snapped out of a slump with a base hit against Catholic on Monday, ripped an 0-2 pitch on a line into left, driving in Bock and Taylor to cap the inning.

And Wells was cruising with the 10-0 lead. He waded through the top of the Van Buren order in the fourth, adding a strikeout and a nice play himself on a comebacker.

Ellis walked to start the Bryant fourth, Hayden Daniel came on as a courtesy runner and was narrowly thrown out trying to steal. Brown laced a single over the shortstop’s head and, with two down, Mayall hit a roller towards third that drew a wild throw to first. Evan Jobe, running for Brown, sprinted all the way home from first to make it 11-0.

Bock stroked his third hit, a single to right-center to bring in Mayall with the final tally.

The only drama left was Wells’ perfecto. After he closed it out, the Hornets charged the field and enjoyed the traditional State championship dogpile as the considerable Bryant contingent in the stands stood and cheered, including the Lady Hornets’ softball team which will try to make it a historic double for Bryant High School Saturday afternoon at Bogle Park.


Pointers Hornets


Patterson, ss 2 0 0 0 Mayall, dh 3 4 2 1

Meaders, lf 2 0 0 0 Bock, cf 3 1 3 3

Spoon, c-p 2 0 0 0 Taylor, ss 2 2 1 1

Moore, p-1b 2 0 0 0 Wilson, pr 0 0 0 0

King, cf-c 2 0 0 0 Joiner, 2b 2 1 1 0

Hightower, dh 2 0 0 0 Hurt, 2b 0 0 0 0

Ramsey, rf 1 0 0 0 Bullock, lf 3 0 1 2

Schneider, 2b 1 0 0 0 Butler, 1b 3 1 0 0

Johnson, 1b 1 0 0 0 Ellis, c 1 0 0 0

Gatling, cf 0 0 0 0 Daniel, cr 0 0 0 0

Boatright, 3b 0 0 0 0 Brown, 3b 1 0 1 0

Jobe, pr0100

Garrett, rf3100

Wells, p0000

Totals 15 0 0 0 Totals 21 12 9 7

Van Buren 000 00 — 0

BRYANT 325 2x — 12

E—Patterson 2, Moore, Schneider, Boatright. LOB—Van Buren 0, Bryant 7. 2B—Mayall. 3B—Bock. S—Bock, Ellis. SB—Joiner, Butler, Garrett.

Pitching ip r er h bb so

Van Buren

Moore (L) 2.2 10 2 6  3 2

Spoon 1.1 2 0 3 3 1


Wells (W, 9-2) 5 0 0 0 0 6

HBP—Brown, Joiner (by Moore). WP—Moore. PB—Spoon, King.


  1. Ronnie Mayall

    Congratulations Hornets!!! It doesn’t get much sweeter then to finish a strange season with a great game. Rewind back five weeks ago in last place in the conference and have a complete turn around and win the state championship. How sweet is that? Hats off to Ben for a perfect game. Congratulations to all the players and coaches for a great season!

  2. John Jobe

    Without a question, the heavens were favorable upon us with perfect weather to go along with this perfect victory. Congradulations Ben for an outstanding performance. Like the entire Bryant baseball community, I know your whole family couldn’t be prouder, especially your dad and brother (Justin). The saying goes and stands true, "There is no "I" in TEAM. Without the flawless playing of our defense and the superior performances of all our boys throughout this year, this 1st ever state championship would have not even been possible. Thank you boys for holding it together and finding yourselves again after a very rigorous season. Many of you come from teams that know all about winning championship titles thanks to the dedicated parents and coaches of the Bryant Athletic Association, but winning a championship has an even extra meaning that sometimes takes a while to soak in when it comes to a "first time ever win". A special congrads to Coach Bock and staff for all their work in guiding this championship team to their 1st ever high school state baseball title.

    John Jobe

  3. Cindy Alpe

    THE BEST GAME I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!! Congrats to the players and especially the coaches!!!!! You are a CLASS ACT and so proud to watch all of you play ball together!!!! Ben, incredible job!!!! Christa, thanks for being there to help through the injuries!!! Great job guys!!!

  4. Shannon Reed

    Congrats to the Hornets!!!! Awesome job on this WIN!!!! This was a flawless game and those come very rare. You ALL did a GREAT JOB.

  5. Jeff Clay

    This was as good a high-school game as i have ever seen. Thanks to the coaches and all the players for winning this championship and bringing it back to Bryant. Coupled with the girls winning on Saturday, this was an awesome weekend!

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