Bryant teams advance to semis
Both defending state champions advanced to the 7A State Tournament semifinals Saturday, with the Hornets beating Cabot 7-5 and the Lady Hornets beating Springdale Har-Ber 10-0.
Hornets head coach Kirk Bock said the wind at the tournament in Fort Smith was a major factor in the game.
"They did a great job of scattering some hits around," he said. "It was unbelievable how hard that wind was blowing. Defensively, any popup was an adventure."
At 4 p.m. Monday the Hornets (22-6, 10-4 7A Central) will face the winner of Saturday's other quarterfinal game between Bentonville and Little Rock Catholic. The Lady Hornets (22-6, 12-2 7A Central) will face Fayetteville at 6 p.m. Monday in Bentonville.
Head coach Debbie Clark said, "These girls are one fire."
The Lady Hornets jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning, followed by one run in the fourth, two in the fifth and two in the sixth.
"It was incredible," Clark said.
Cassiy Wilson went 4-4 with a double, and Jessie Taylor had a triple and two singles. Both Jenna Bruick and Kayla Sory had two hits each, while Kaley Coppock went 2-3, knocking in the winning run in the sixth inning.
Peyton Jenkins pitched for the Lady Hornets, striking out six batters while giving up one hit with on hit batter.
Junior Jordan Taylor pitched all seven inning for the Hornets, giving up five earned runs off nine hits, two walks and one hit-by-pitch. He recorded two strikeouts and threw 83 pitches total.
The Hornets got off to an early lead in the second inning after a single by senior Evan Jobe brought home senior Chris Joiner, who tripled to lead off the inning. Jobe then stole second and eventually scored off a single down the first base line by sophomore Hayden Lessonberry, giving the Hornets a 2-0 lead.
After giving up three runs in the third, the Hornets scored two more. The first came off a solo home run to right field by senior Landon Pickett, and the second came when junior Dylan Cross came home from third on a bases-loaded walk to Lessonberry, making it 4-3 Bryant.
Cabot was held scoreless for the next two innings, and Bryant scored one in the fifth when a Lessonberry single to center field brought home sophomore Tyler Green, who was pinch running for Cross.
With the game tied 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth, senior Tyler Brown singled into left field Taylor was hit by a pitch. With sophomore Hayden Daniel running for Brown and junior Trent Rivers running for Taylor, Pickett hit a sacrifice fly to advance the runners.
Cross then hit a ground ball to shortstop, who thew home for the out on Daniel, but the Cabot catcher bobbled the ball and Daniel Scored. Joiner then hit a sacrifice fly to score Rivers and give the Hornets a 7-5 lead where it stayed after Cabot was held scoreless in its last at bat.