03/28/04 — Cougars improving game by game

View Archive

Cougars improving game by game

By David Williams
Published in Sports on March 28, 2004 2:05 AM

It's not about the win for Goldsboro's baseball team -- not right now. It's not even about the runs.

It's about getting better a little each day.

Of course, that kind of slow, steady improvement will not prevent things like Eastern Wayne's 15-1 blasting of the Cougars Friday night at the Warriors' diamond.

But in a few years -- who knows?

The victory gave the Warriors (5-4, 4-1) the chance to keep pace in a crowded pack at the front of the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference.

There were plenty of highlights.

Trey Johnson was 3-for-3 and just missed hitting for the cycle after a two-run home run, a triple and a double. Pitcher Chris Davis struck out six in a five-inning victory after not throwing since two innings of work against New Hanover at the start of the season. The Warriors gathered 13 hits and did not have to use an extra pitcher as Eastern Wayne gets ready for rival Southern Wayne next Tuesday.

In short, the Warriors dominated the game.

But while Cougars (1-8, 0-5) were clearly outplayed, they never hung their heads and never quit swinging the bats or working on the basics of the game -- things their counterparts in the other dugout do without as much as thinking about it.

"The boys aren't to the point where they can read situations and know to move up on the corners in a bunt situation.Things like that," said Cougars coach Danny Merritt, who has been Goldsboro baseball's lone constant for nearly five years. "I've got five freshmen out there, and one sophomore. They are learning as they go, and getting better.

"Give them two years, and they will be more than they are now."

Eastern Wayne coach Jabo Fulghum, who used a lot of reserves in the win, is now ready to focus on a tough week that sees the Warriors in Dudley and hosting Charles B. Aycock Friday.

"We have a long ways to go," Fulghum said. "We are not even to Easter yet, and this conference is very tight."

The Cougars, who got their first win Thursday as Monquavious Edwards threw a five-inning no-hitter, will travel to Kinston on Tuesday.

"I said five years ago that I was going to put a product on the field that the students and the community can be proud to come and watch," Merritt said. "We're just getting to the starting line now."