For more photos from this event by Kevin Nagle, go here
Regardless of the talent level, one of the most difficult things an inexperienced team in any sport achieves as it develops is consistency. Yes, the guys on the Bryant Hornets have played lots of the baseball over the years but really very little at the high school varsity level.
They were sharp in their pre-season game and their season opener but, on Thursday night, they were plagued by miscues, both physical and mental. Still, behind some bulldog pitching from senior lefty Beaux Bonvillain, they were in position to win, carrying a 1-0 lead into the sixth.
The White Hall Bulldogs tied it with an unearned run in the top of the sixth then took a lead with an unearned run in the top of the seventh.
“Today was a tough one to swallow,” stated Hornets coach Travis Queck. “I take full responsibility for that one. We had one day of practice where we didn’t, as a team, focus and that is something I am going to address. We are going back to work immediately to correct mistakes and work to find solutions.”
The Hornets, now 1-1 on the season, return to action on Monday, March 6, against Pine Bluff at Bryant High School Field.
The Hornets grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Jake Wright doubled and moved to third on a grounder to the right side by Logan Chambers. Coby Greiner then got a squeeze bunt down and Wright beat the play at the plate.
Bonvillain walked. Logan Grant came in to serve as a courtesy runner for the pitcher and Logan Catton followed with an infield hit. Matthew Sandidge worked a walk to load the bases. With lead-off man Seth Tucker at the plate,
The Hornets managed just one hit the rest of the game, a single, a 1-1 delivery got by the White Hall catcher, Layne Hartsfield. Grant tried to score but Hartsfield hustled after the loose ball and got it back to Motsinger in time for the tag to end the inning.
The Bulldogs threatened in the third. Garrett Blaylock led off with a double and lead-off man John Shelton reached on an error as Blaylock held at second. Bonvillain then picked him off to take the starch out of the inning.
Motsinger worked around a lead-off walk to Tucker in the bottom of the inning as he started a string of retiring seven in a row. Sandidge ended that with a two-out single to left in the bottom of the fifth. He raced to third on an errant pickoff throw but was stranded when Tucker flew to right.
Bonvillain, who struck out seven and allowed just four hits, fanned four during a stretch in which he set down eight in a row. That string ended when Chase Bryan hit a drive to center that was misplayed for three bases. Hartsfield singled him in to tie the game.
Greiner relieved the Hornets’ starter at that point and got out of the inning by fanning Zach Harbison and getting Dustin Duckworth to ground out to Konnor Clontz at third.
In the top of the seventh, however, Bryce Kincaid opened with a double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a passed ball to put the Bulldogs ahead.
Greiner fanned Jordan Gober and, after Blaylock beat out an infield hit, Shelton grounded out to third to end the inning.
Motsinger finished the game with five walks and five strikeouts.