Pitching, offense net Hornets 2 wins
TAMPA, Fla. – After splitting their first two tournament games in the Tampa Bay Spring Training Tournament on Monday, the Bryant Hornets defeated Poly Prep (NY) 4-0 and Lutheran South (Mo.) 14-7 on Tuesday. The Hornets will play four more games, two on Thursday and two on Friday, in Tampa before heading back to Bryant.
In their first game on Tuesday, the Hornets (9-5) received a three-hit, complete-game shutout from sophomore pitcher Jason Hastings. He struck out five and walked three.
“He was solid,” Bryant Coach Kirk Bock said. “He did a really good job. He had a good day.”
According to Bock, Poly Prep has six future Division 1 athletes and is ranked No. 1 in the state of New York.
Bryant put its first run on the board against Poly Prep when senior outfielder Marcus Wilson scored on a passed ball, and the Hornets would score three in the fifth when Wilson had a two-run single to score senior Tyler Green and junior Trevor Ezell, and Wilson would later score on another passed ball for the final margin.
Ezell and Wilson each went 2 for 3, with Wilson adding two runs, two RBI and a stolen base. Junior Korey Thompson and sophomore Ty Harris each went 1 for 3.
In its 14-7 victory over Lutheran South, every Bryant player had at least one hit as the Hornets had 16 for the game, including Ezell’s 4 for 4 day with four runs and four RBI. He added two stolen bases.
“We ended up with 16 hits,” Bock said. “I was proud of them that game because we faced guys in that game that were in the upper 8s (throwing 85-89 mph) to the upper 6s (65-69 mph). We were able to make that adjustment.”
Bryant scored five runs in the first two innings on senior Austin Caldwell’s two-run single, Ezell’s two-run single and senior Hayden Lessenberry’s RBI single.
Lutheran South would get within 6-5 in the fifth inning when Bryant starting pitcher Zach Jackson got into a little trouble, but the Hornets would put four spots up in the sixth and seventh innings to put the game out of reach.
Green and Lessenberry each went 2 for 4, Wilson went 2 for 2 and scored four times, and Caldwell went 2 for 5 with a game-high five RBI. Junior Harrison Dale went 1 for 3 with two RBI.
“If we keep hitting, I feel like we’re going to be alright,” Bock said of the remaining four games in the tourney. “We’re getting deeper in our staff. It’s going to give those guys a test to see if they can do what these other guys have been doing. It’s putting a challenge on our pitching staff, but we’re going to have to get them some run support.”