04/29/04 — Baseball -- CBA outlasts Eagles in non-confernece tilt

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Baseball -- CBA outlasts Eagles in non-confernece tilt

By David Williams
Published in Sports on April 29, 2004 2:02 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Both Rosewood and Charles B. Aycock's baseball teams are in the fight for playoff berths in their respective conferences, with only a precious few games to go.

So when the two teams met at the Falcons' diamond Friday night, it could be understood if both clubs left their 'A' games in the locker rooms.

It's not as if they weren't trying to win, as Aycock ultimately did after hanging on to take an 11-10 decision from the Eagles.

But the game had its share of errors, big hits and each side taking advantage of the other.

That's baseball, as the saying goes.

"They were probably a lot like us, just not on top of their game," said Rosewood coach Scott Adams. "We made a lot of errors with two outs -- that kind of sums up our season. Catching balls, throwing balls, tagging out runners -- the little things. We do those things, we win. We don't, we lose."

"Defensively, we didn't play real well as far as throwing the baseball," said Aycock coach Charles Davis. "We didn't swing the bats bad."

The Falcons banged out nine hits, four for extra bases. Travis Bartlett swung the biggest stick, with two run home runs on consecutive at-bats, while Josh Pate nailed two doubles.

It was Rosewood who got on the scoreboard first as leadoff man Trey Kriger reached base on a throwing error, stole second and third, and came home on another throwing miscue as a play was coming at third base.

Aycock answered in a big way, roughing up starter Taylor Carr for four first-inning runs. Matthew Waddell came home on Pate's first double, then came home as Josh Kirby came up with a two-out single. Kirby was picked up on Bartlett's first blast, a bomb over the center field fence for a 4-1 lead.

The Eagles answered in the second, pushing Aycock starter Kirby by rallying on hits by Josh Allen and Kyle Bunn and a walk to Micheal Render. Nick Becton drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt, then Brantley Ellis plated another on a ground out. Kriger and Matt Craft both came up with hits to score runs as the Eagles got back in front 5-4.

But Aycock was not done with the bats. With the bases loaded and two out, Pate drove in two runs with another double and Kirby knocked in a run with a hit. Bartlett then cleaned off the diamond with another shot to center field that Craft could not pull back over the fence.

Aycock's 10-5 lead took another hit in the Rosewood third. Bunn's ground-rule double to left scored Allen and Ellis picked up another ground out RBI after Bunn scored on a wild pitch.

Aycock's lead was cut to 10-8, but the Falcons gained a big insurance run in the fourth when Will Spence got on by a throwing error with two out. Spence came around to score on another error and scored on a wild pitch for an 11-8 advantage.

Both sides stayed off the scoreboard until the seventh. Rosewood rallied on back-to-back hits by Bunn and Render to get runners at second and third with on one out. Ellis then stroked a double to score both runs and put himself on second as the tying tun.

But Aycock reliever Alex Raper coaxed a fly ball and a ground out come-backer to the pitcher to end the game.

"After playing a big conference game Tuesday and in front of a big conference game Friday, and this game keeps dragging out and dragging out, it's hard for the kids to keep their focus," said Davis. "That's what we really lacked in this game.

"But they're kids, also."

"Most of these guys hang out together, play summer ball together, and the familiarity makes them not bring their 'A' game," said Adams.

Davis praised Kirby, who was making his first start in over a month after injuring his finger.

"He's done nothing in the bullpen," Davis said. "He really gutted it up. Rosewood hit the baseball. Give them credit."

Rosewood has the rest of the week off before taking on North Johnston at home Tuesday and traveling to North Duplin on May 7.

"We're running out of time," said Adams. "We've got three ball games left, and we need to win out and get some help to make the playoffs."

The Falcons take on West Craven Friday in a game Aycock needs to establish itself in the topsy-turvy Eastern Carolina Conference playoff race.

"Rosewood's in the battle for a conference spot and we're in the battle for a conference spot," said Davis. "We can take the things we did do well and take them into Friday's game at West Craven."

Rosewood 143 000 2 -- 10 8 3

C.B. Aycock 460 010 X -- 11 9 4

Leading hitters -- Rosewood -- Josh Allen 2-2; Kyle Bunn 2-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI; Nick Becton 1-2, 2 SAC bunts; Brantley Ellis 1-4, 2B. 2 RBI. C.B. Aycock -- Josh Pate 2-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI; Josh Kirby 1-2, RBI; Travis Bartlett 2 HR, 4 RBI; Will Spence 2-4.



Taylor Carr 3 8 10 9 3 4

Kyle Bunn (L) 3 1 1 0 5 2

C.B. Aycock

Josh Kirby 3 5 8 4 3 1

Drew McGowan 2 1 0 0 2 2

Alex Raper (W) 2 2 2 2 0 3