In a game of defense, the Conway Wampus Cats shut out the Bryant Hornets Tuesday, 2-0.
It was the second straight shutout for the Wampus Cats (13-3, 7-0 7A Central) after blanking Catholic on April 5. The victory gives the Wampus Cats a two-game lead over everyone in the conference race.
Tuesday’s win was a part of another Conway senior Jordan Wicks gem, He pitched a complete game shutout, while giving up two hits and walking two batters.
The only batter to reach second base for the Hornets (13-5-1, 5-2 7A Central) was Matthew Sandidge, who hit a two-out single to centerfield in the top of the fourth. Wicks walked the next batter before striking out junior Jake Wright to end the inning.
“He’s done a really good job,” Conway coach Noel Boucher said. "We go to Southside on Thursday and we’ll have [junior] James Hicks throw that game. Jordan has done a great job all year and that’s really given our team energy. We like where we are right now.”
Conway scored two runs as part of a third inning in which the right side of Bryant’s infield commit two errors, leading to the two runs.
Hornets junior starting pitcher Logan Grant hit Conway junior Clay Tollett to put him on first. A wild pitch allowed Tollett to advance to second before senior Matt Lloyd hit a grounder to Bryant senior second baseman Scott Schmidt, who misplayed it allowing for Tollett to score.
Wicks advanced Lloyd on an infield single to the shortstop before Andrew Hreha grounded a ball to Hornet first baseman Brandon Hoover. The ball went through his legs, allowing Lloyd to score from second.
Of the 16 balls the Hornets put in play, only two fell for hits, while the Conway defense played smooth baseball, not committing an error.
“That’s a good win,” Boucher said. “Sometimes, two good bunches go together and that’s what matters: who is going to kick it around a little bit and they only did it for one inning. Their guys pitched well and our guys pitched well. It was just a good game.”
Grant took the loss in three innings of work. He allowed two runs on two hits while one was earned, three walks, two hit batters and struck out one. Bryant junior Coby Greiner came in for relief of Grant, giving up one hit, walking one and striking out one.
Wampus Cat senior Parker Gavazzi and Wicks had Conway’s two hits, while Greiner and Sandidge had the Hornets’ two hits.
The Wampus Cats have one conference win over Cabot and Bryant.
Cabot and Conway will match up April 20 in Cabot and Bryant will host the Wampus Cats May 4 in the final regular-season game.
Conway will travel Thursday to Fort Smith Southside, who is 2-6 in 7A Central competition.