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Bryant needs 10 to win

March 15, 2012

Junior outfielder Hayden Daniel rounds third in the Bryant Hornets 5-4 10-inning win against the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats on Tuesday to open 7A Central conference play. The Hornets are 1-0 in conference and 8-0 overall. GRACE FINLEY/Special to the Courier

The Bryant Hornets were down by four runs at one point, but battled back for a 5-4 victory in 10 innings over the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats on Tuesday in Bryant to start the 7A Central conference season. Two Wildcat errors in the bottom of the 10th led to the win.

Hornets’ senior Josh Pultro reached on an error by the third baseman when the fielder threw it away allowing Pultro to take second base.
Senior Dylan Cross, on a full count, attempted to sacrifice bunt Pultro to third base, but North Little Rock’s pitcher handled the bunt attempt, but threw wildly to first allowing Pultro to score and Bryant to pick up the win.

Senior Jordan Taylor started and pitched the first five innings and senior Tyler Nelson went from the sixth inning through the 10th.

“Taylor did a tremendous job,” Bryant Coach Kirk Bock said. “He gave up a two-run homerun in the first inning. He had a changeup that went up, that just got up and the kid hit it out. He gave up another couple runs in the third off of three hits. He struck out the first two and they had three consecutive hits.”

The Hornets (8-0, 1-0 7A Central) scored two runs in the third, one in the fourth, one in the fifth to tie it, and then the game-winner on the two errors in the 10th.

“We got down 4-0 and our kids battled back,” Bock said. “They never did quit. They could have very easily spit the bit right there and they didn’t do it. We just hung around long enough to tie it up and hung around long enough to win it.”

Junior Hayden Lessenberry and Pultro each had two hits to lead the Hornets.

If Tuesday night’s extra-inning win is any indication of things to come in the 7A Central, Bock wouldn’t expect anything different.

“Everybody, I know [coaches] say this all the time, I’ve been here for four years, but there is always a three-way, sometimes a five-way tie for first place,” he said. “Everybody is the same and it has been that way my first three years and I don’t think it’s going to change this year.

“One through eight, almost everyone is identical. It makes for a good season.”

The Hornets have the Central Tigers in Bryant up next on Friday.

“They’ve got a couple pitchers that are tremendous,” Bock said of Central. “Pitching and defense for them has always been really, really good. They’ve struggled in the past to hitting it a little bit, but they stack up, they’re just as good as everybody in our conference in pitching and defense.”

It’s Cross’ spot in the rotation and he will start Friday for the Hornets against Central. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. in Bryant.

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