Hornets end two–game skid

SANFORD, Fla. – After two games in the Florida League High School Invitational in Sanford, Fla., the Bryant Hornets are sitting at 1-1. The Hornets dropped their first game on Monday 4-2 against the Stallions of American Heritage High School from Del Ray Beach, Fla. Bryant had an off day on Tuesday before rebounding with a 7-4 win on Wednesday morning against the Sanford Seminoles.

The Stallions struck first against Bryant senior starter Tyler Nelson when Amfernee Seymour singled to start the game and Jonathan India doubled to scored Seymour for a 1-0 Heritage lead.

Leading off the bottom of the first, Nelson doubled for the Hornets and advanced to third base when senior Jordan Taylor grounded out. Senior Josh Pultro was hit by a pitch and took second base on a steal to put runners at second and third with one out. Junior catcher Hayden Lessenberry struck out on a full count, but it was a wild pitch allowing Lessenberry to take first and Nelson to score to tie it up at 1-1.

After a scoreless second inning, the Stallions got to Nelson when Seymour reached on a one-out walk in the top of the third inning.

Seymour stole second and third baseman Wesley Akers made an error allowing Seymour to score making it 2-1. With two outs, American Heritage put another run on the board on a single by Connor Power to make it 3-1 after three.

The Stallions scored a run in the top of the fifth inning to make it 4-1 before the Hornets got a run back in the bottom of the inning. Junior Hayden Daniel reached on a walk, but was picked off on an attempted steal with a full count on junior center fielder Marcus Wilson. Wilson reached on a walk and advanced to second base on a Nelson single. Pultro hit a single to score Wilson from second base and make it 4-2, but the Stallions’ starter Dylan Silva held the Hornets in check the rest of the way.

Silva, a left-hander, pitched a complete-game four-hitter for the win, giving up two runs and three walks while striking out nine.

For the Hornets, Nelson picked up the loss giving up four runs (three earned) on 10 hits in five and two-third innings. He walked two and struck out 10. Taylor relieved for Nelson in the sixth and pitched a perfect inning and a third while striking out three.

Nelson had three of Bryant’s four hits going 3 for 4 with a run. Pultro had the other hit. He went 1 for 2 with an RBI.

The Hornets (9-2, 1-1 7A Central) defeated the Sanford Seminoles 7-4 on Wednesday. Bryant had only five hits in the game, but took advantage of walks and errors to come away with the win.

Tied 1-1 going into the bottom of the fourth, the Hornets broke the game open with five runs in the inning.

Wilson and senior Ozzie Hurt walked to start the bottom of the fourth and Wilson ended up scoring on an error by the pitcher after Nelson’s fielder’s choice. With Hurt and Nelson on second and third, Lessenberry hit a two-run single to put the Hornets up 4-1. Three batters later and the bases loaded, senior Dylan Cross was hit by a pitch to score pinch runner Braden Jones, and Taylor scored on a sacrifice fly to center by sophomore Chase Tucker for a 6-1 lead.

The Seminoles scored three runs in the sixth before the Hornets added one in the bottom of the inning when pinch runner Austin Caldwell scored on Tucker’s double to set the final score.

Taylor started and got the win for the Hornets giving up three runs on six hits and a walk, and striking out six. Akers picked up the save giving up a hit and striking out one in a scoreless seventh.

Sanford walked 12 batters and hit four Hornets with a pitch as all Bryant needed was five hits to score seven runs.

“A lot of times, we didn’t even get a hack at some,” Assistant Coach Greg Harris said.

Pultro went 2 for 3 with a walk, Taylor went 1 for 3 with a run and an RBI, and Lessenberry and Tucker each went 1 for 2 with two RBIs apiece.

“The best part is we broke a two-game losing streak,” Harris said.

The Hornets play the Palm Beach Central Broncos (11-2) out of Wellington, Fla., at 4:30 p.m. Cross will get the start for Bryant.