TAMPA, Fla. – The Bryant Hornets defeated Rockford, Ill., on Friday morning 10-1 to sweep the Tampa Spring Training Tournament. The Hornets’ varsity and junior varsity went a combined 8-0 in the tournament.
Junior Jason Hastings started for Bryant on Friday and pitched five innings of one-run ball, which Rockford scored on a squeeze bunt.
The undefeated record was just a bonus as the Hornets played a lot of baseball and gained much-needed experience going into 7A/6A South Conference season when the team returns to face J.A. Fair on Tuesday.
“This tournament was good because all our kids got to play a lot,” Hitting Coach Travis Queck said. “Got a lot of at-bats, pitching did outstanding, defense was great.
“We played small ball really well. We bunted the ball around and brought some runners in and took advantage of some things [Rockford] were doing.”
Senior shortstop Trevor Ezell, who was inserted for defense late in the game, hit his second inside-the-park home run, a two-run homer, this week and his third home run on the year.
Sophomore Evan Lee led the Hornets at the plate with three hits and two stolen bases, while junior Blake Patterson went 1 for 2, and sophomore Logan Allen and freshman Jake East each went 1 for 3. Senior Harrison Dale also laid down a drag bunt to add to the Hornets’ 10-hit attack.
“It allowed us to play a lot of games,” Queck said of the tourney. “We played some split-squad games and got some kids some work. We wanted to get better coming out of here and I think we did as a team, overall, individually too. We came away better. As a coaching staff, we got to see some people we haven’t so far.”
The Hornets, JV and varsity, didn’t give up more than one run in any game and outscored its opponents 79-5 overall.