Hornets clinch Central with rout of NLR
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.
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.
Bryant sophomore Ryan Riggs competes in a 3-2 win over North Little Rock on Tuesday.