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Hornets not sharp, but beat Rockets

March 29, 2012

Junior Hornets’ outfielder Hayden Daniel dives for a ball in Bryant’s 4-1 win over the Little Rock Catholic Rockets on Tuesday in Bryant. The Hornets improved their record to 12-2 overall and 2-1 in the 7A Central conference. Justin Manning/Special to the Courier

BRYANT – The Bryant Hornets hosted the Little Rock Catholic Rockets in 7A Central conference play on Tuesday and came away with a 4-1 victory.

The Hornets (12-2, 2-1 7A Central) scored all four of their runs in the second inning with two outs. Senior Dylan Cross singled to start the inning and went to second base on sophomore Wesley Akers’ walk. After sophomore Chase Tucker struck out, junior Hayden Daniel grounded into a fielder’s choice to third base, who stepped on the bag to put runners on first and second.
Akers and Daniel scored to give Bryant a 2-0 lead when senior Ozzie Hurt reached on an error by the third baseman and Hurt scored on Tyler Nelson’s RBI double. Nelson came around for the fourth and final run when junior Hayden Lessenberry singled.

Bryant had their chances as they threatened in the third inning putting runners at second and third with one out, but struck out twice in a row to come up empty. The Hornets also threatened again in the fourth inning when they had the bases loaded with one out and again couldn’t score.

Nelson started for the Hornets and went three plus innings until he walked the first two batters in the fourth inning. Senior Jordan Taylor came on in relief and gave up an infield hit to load the bases. Taylor then struck out two straight before hitting the leadoff batter with a pitch, allowing the Rockets to get their only run of the game. Taylor induced a ground out to second to end the inning, which began a string of Taylor retiring the last 10 Rockets of the game.

“He did a good job,” Bryant Coach Kirk Bock said of Taylor. “He wasn’t as sharp tonight as he’s been, and Nelson wasn’t either. Nelson did a good job. He made them put it in play and we made the plays. He kind of got into a funk in the fourth. He wasn’t as sharp, but he battled through it and he kept in reach for JT to come in and do a good job.

“They battled. I’m really very proud of them because neither one of them had their best stuff. They went out and competed and won. That’s the mark of a good pitcher. You still have to win when you’re not at the top of your game. They’re going to fight you tooth and nail.”

Senior Josh Pultro had two of the Hornets seven hits on the day, while Bryant committed one error. Catholic had five hits and three errors.

The Hornets hit the road to continue Central conference action and travel to Van Buren to face the Pointers on Friday before coming back home to play Texarkana on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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