TAMPA, Fla. â€“ 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.
â€śHe was solid,â€ť Bryant Coach Kirk Bock said. â€śHe did a really good job. He had a good day.â€ť
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 Ezellâ€™s 4 for 4 day with four runs and four RBI. He added two stolen bases.
â€śWe ended up with 16 hits,â€ť Bock said. â€śI 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.â€ť
Bryant scored five runs in the first two innings on senior Austin Caldwellâ€™s two-run single, Ezellâ€™s two-run single and senior Hayden Lessenberryâ€™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.
â€śIf we keep hitting, I feel like weâ€™re going to be alright,â€ť Bock said of the remaining four games in the tourney. â€śWeâ€™re getting deeper in our staff. Itâ€™s going to give those guys a test to see if they can do what these other guys have been doing. Itâ€™s putting a challenge on our pitching staff, but weâ€™re going to have to get them some run support.â€ť