03/26/04 — North Lenoir tops Charles B. Aycock in come-from-behind fashion

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North Lenoir tops Charles B. Aycock in come-from-behind fashion

By David Williams
Published in Sports on March 26, 2004 1:59 PM

LAGRANGE -- Non-conference baseball games are supposed to be beneficial to both teams as they prepare for conference competition down the road.

Thursday night, Charles B. Aycock and North Lenoir had one of those rare games that let both teams come away with positives.

But it was the Hawks that came away with a 4-3, come-from-behind win over the Golden Falcons.

"We have a big game Friday with West Carteret," said Aycock coach Charles Davis. "That's our main concern. But I saw a lot of positives to build on."

North Lenoir pitcher Marvin Buck three a complete game for the win, but for awhile it looked as though Aycock would snatch away a win in the late innings.

The Falcons (5-2, 3-1) erased a 1-0 North Lenoir lead in the sixth, as Greg Davis beat out an infield hit to start the inning, moving up on a sacrifice fly by Will Spence and scoring on a hit to left by Philip Cunningham.

Aycock broke the tie in the seventh with a pair of runs, Travis Bartlett and Nik Pappas opened the inning with hits, Drew McGowan delivered a one-out hit to load the bases.

Greg Davis then delivered his second hit of the game, a shot to the right-center field gap to score xxx Tipton, pinch-running for Bartlett, to give Aycock the lead.

Matthew Waddell's then grounded to first base, but the return throw home was too late to get Pappas for a 3-1 Aycock lead.

But reliever Alex Raper was about to run into a determined bunch of young Hawks in the bottom of the seventh.

Brian Smith opened the inning with a strikeout, but reached base on a dropped third strike.

"I was glad to see the whole team was in the game at that point, because the whole dugout jumped up and started yelling, 'run, run, run," said North Lenoir coach Jim Montague.

He advanced on a hit up the middle by Shane Harris and a sacrifice bunt from Stihl Sowers. Smith got the score to 3-2 after scoring on a wild pitch, putting Harris in scoring position. Harris took third on a passed ball.

Douglas Beal then executed the squeeze bunt perfectly as Smith came charging from third to tie the game at 3-3.

With two out, Josh Williams smacked a liner to right to get the winning run on base, moving up on a stolen base and scoring on a bobbled grounder that let Williams come from second to score the game-winner.

The late-inning heroics nearly overshadowed strong effort from both starting pitchers. Josh Kirby went five strong innings, retiring 12 of 13 batters at one point and giving up one hit and one unearned run on a wild pitch.

Buck was equally impressive, striking out five and keeping the Falcon hitters guessing for most of the game.

"Marvin kept the ball down," said Montague of his junior. "When you keep it down against a good hitting team like Aycock, you will be in it."

Davis said he saw some good things, notably the performance of his pitchers.

"I also saw some good things at the plate in the seventh," he said. "But I saw some not-so-good things in the bottom of the seventh."

"They could have rolled over," said Montague of his young team, with only two returning starters from last season. "This is real good for our confidence."

Aycock meets the Patriots in Vanceboro tonight, while North Lenoir (5-5) will take on Wilson Beddingfield in Institute on Tuesday before starting Eastern Plains 2-A Conference play Thursday at South Lenoir.

C.B. Aycock 000 001 2 -- 3 9 1

North Lenoir 100 000 3 -- 4 4 0

Leading hitters -- C.B. Aycock -- Matthew Waddell 1-4, RBI; Philip Cunningham 1-3, RBI; Josh Pate 1-3; Travis Bartlett 1-3; Nik Pappas 2-3; Jarrod Gouty 1-1; Greg Davis 2-3, RBI. North Lenoir -- Josh Williams 1-4; Jacob Alphin 22-3; Shane Harris 1-3.


C.B. Aycock

Josh Kirby 5 1 1 0 2 2

Alex Raper (L) 2 3 3 3 0 1

North Lenoir

Marvin Buck (W) 7 9 3 3 0 5

WP -- Buck, Kirby 2, Raper 2. PB -- Jeffreys.