Hor­nets clinch Cen­tral with rout of NLR

The Saline Courier - - SPORTS - By Tony Lenahan tle­na­[email protected]­ton­courier.com

BRYANT – The Bryant Hor­nets boys soc­cer team clinched the 6A Cen­tral Con­fer­ence ti­tle Tues­day with a 6-1 rout over the North Lit­tle Rock Charg­ing Wild­cats at Hor­nets Sta­dium in Bryant. It was the Hor­nets’ 11th straight vic­tory to put them at 13-2-2 over­all, 12-1 in the Cen­tral. It was Bryant’s first con­fer­ence ti­tle since 2014.

“It was great for these boys to ex­pe­ri­ence it,” Bryant Coach Rick Fri­day said of the Cen­tral cham­pi­onship. “I’ve pushed them and they have worked ex­tremely hard. They work hard for each other and be­lieve in each other.”

The Hor­nets picked up their first goal in one of the rarest fash­ions in soc­cer when Bryant ju­nior goal­keeper Codi Kirby punted the

Led­bet­ter’s five one-hit shutout innings, the Hor­nets (264, 12-1 Cen­tral) shut down the Charg­ing Wild­cats. He also struck out seven vs. one walk.

“Austin had some move­ment to his fast­ball and was able to stay on top of the break­ing ball, which is what he’s got to do to be suc­cess­ful,” Queck said. “At times this year he’s had a flat base­ball, but he’s be­ing chang­ing some things to get some move­ment. He had a lot more swings and misses, and mishit base­balls (Tues­day).”

The Hor­nets would get the scor­ing started in the bottom of the third in­ning when se­nior lead­off man Lo­gan Cham­bers dou­bled to right and scored on the very next pitch in which Led­bet­ter dou­bled to left for the 1-0 lead. Cour­tesy run­ner Law­son Speer took third on ju­nior Peyton Dil­lon’s one­out ground out to third and Speer scored on an er­ror by the first base­man for the 2-0 ad­van­tage af­ter three.

It was Cham­bers and Led­bet­ter again in the fifth as Cham­bers sin­gled, went to sec­ond on de­fen­sive in­dif­fer­ence and scored on Led­bet­ter’s sin­gle to left field for the 3-0 ad­van­tage.

Cham­bers fin­ished 3 for 3 with two runs and Led­bet­ter was 2 for 2 with two RBIS as the duo had 5 of Bryant’s 6 hits on the day. Dil­lon went 1 for 2 for the other knock.

“Those two guys were def­i­nitely our cat­a­lysts of­fen­sively sit­ting in the 1 and 2 hole,” Queck said of Cham­bers and Led­bet­ter. “Not that the other guys were strug­gling, they just mishit a lot of base­balls and were at times un­pro­duc­tive. It’s just get­ting con­fi­dence and go­ing back to work. We just got to fig­ure it out at the plate.”

Bryant se­nior Cobi Greiner would give up a two-out, 2-run dou­ble in the sev­enth to make things in­ter­est­ing, but in­duced a ground out to clinch the win.

Weather per­mit­ting, the Hor­nets head to Con­way to close out Cen­tral play on Fri­day and wrap up the reg­u­lar sea­son on Mon­day vs. Green­brier.

SYD­NEY BOSWELL/SPE­CIAL to The Sa­line Courier

The Bryant Hor­net se­niors con­grat­u­late each other dur­ing se­nior night Tues­day at Hor­nets Sta­dium in Bryant. The Hor­nets clinched the 6A Cen­tral with a 6-1 win over North Lit­tle Rock.

SYD­NEY BOSWELL/ Spe­cial to The Sa­line Courier

Bryant sopho­more Ryan Riggs com­petes in a 3-2 win over North Lit­tle Rock on Tues­day.

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