03/05/10 — Golden Falcons claim opener

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Golden Falcons claim opener

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 5, 2010 1:46 PM

PRINCETON -- The early-season, top-10 encounter between two former state champions quickly turned into a lopsided affair Thursday afternoon.

Charles B. Aycock benefited from Princeton's first-inning generosity and rolled to a 13-1, season-opening decision on the Fred Bartholomew Athletic Complex baseball diamond.

The teams, which each won state titles in 2007, entered the contest ranked in their respective preseason ImpactBaseball.com polls. The Golden Falcons are No. 2 among 3-A programs, while the Bulldogs are No. 9 in 1-A play.

"I was really impressed with them," said Princeton head coach Bruce Proctor. "The way they carried themselves, the way they approached the plate ... a good-looking baseball team and solid defensively. They are where we want to be."

Six of nine Aycock starters posted at least one hit in the mercy-rule contest which concluded after six innings. Louisburg signee Adron Hollowell batted 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Tyler Farmer (three RBI), Jordan Quinn and Tyler Ruffin (RBI) contributed two hits apiece.

Travis Musselman (three RBI), North Carolina signee Connor Narron and reserve Craig Murdock each provided one hit.

Ruffin's two-strike hit capped the Golden Falcons' four-run, first-inning outburst. Princeton (0-2 overall) aided the visitors' cause with two errant pick-off throws, a passed ball, a wild pitch and five walks.

"They were generous to us in that first inning and I thought we did a good job taking advantage of that, too," said Aycock head coach Charles Davis. "Honestly, I thought the key was Tyler getting a big hit for us with two strikes. I feel like we are going to hit the ball one through nine (in the lineup) and today everybody contributed at the plate."

Five of Aycock's 13 runs were earned.

"All those mistakes are correctable," said Proctor. "We really put ourselves in a hole and that's the thing we cannot do. We cannot mow people down with our pitching and we have to make them beat us."

Three Golden Falcon hurlers -- Eric DuBose, Aaron Champion and Derek Limbaugh -- limited the Dawgs to four hits and combined for seven strikeouts. DuBose (1-0) retired eight consecutive batters before issuing a two-out walk to Luke Mitchell and a base hit to Tyler Daniels in the fourth inning.

Champion allowed a lead-off, fifth-inning single, but retired the next three batters. Limbaugh recorded two consecutive outs in the sixth until Benton Myers doubled. Kristian Cox plated Myers with an RBI single to deny the Golden Falcons' shutout bid.

"I was very pleased with our pitching," said Davis. "Just about every hitter we got ahead of them and that's going to be the key to us as a pitching staff. Defense, we played well. Overall, I was extremely pleased."

Aycock (1-0) continues a stretch of five games in six days this afternoon at Wilson Hunt. The Golden Falcons play Smithfield-Selma in the Impact Baseball Classic at Cary on Saturday. They play back-to-back home games Monday and Tuesday against Rosewood and Hunt, respectively.