03/04/05 — C.B. Aycock edges Rosewood in non-conference baseball

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C.B. Aycock edges Rosewood in non-conference baseball

Published in Sports on March 4, 2005 2:34 PM

PIKEVILLE - Grant Sasser earned his first save of the year in Charles B. Aycock's season-opening 7-5 victory against county rival Rosewood on a frigid Thursday evening.

A sophomore, Sasser retired the side in order after the Eagles put two runners on base with one out.

"It's always great to start the season with a win," said C.B. Aycock coach Charles Davis. "We started tight. Then, things started to fall into place."

Rosewood made its host grab the win the old-fashioned way by earning it.

The Eagles wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Center fielder Trey Kriger opened the game with a walk. A throwing error on his attempted steal moved him over to third. He trotted home thanks to Brantley Ellis' sacrifice fly deep to left center.

After going down in order in the second, Kriger was the offensive instigator again in the third. With one out he again walked. Consecutive singles by Ellis, Dustin Overman, and Justin Allen drove two more runs home.

Kriger made it 5-0 in the fourth. His single up the middle drove in Matt Godwin and Dave Martel, who had opened the inning with walks. Unfortunately, the Eagles (0-1) could not capitalize on their opportunities to put the game away. They left two runners stranded in the third and left the bases loaded two innings later.

"We had some breakdowns," said coach Scott Adams. "That was big."

After leaving two runners on base in each of the first four innings, and a total of 10 on the night, Aycock (1-0) appeared to perk up, while the Eagles seemed a bit deflated.

They loaded the bases in the third, but were denied, something that didn't happen in the fourth. Walks to lead-off hitter Travis Bartlett and Drew McGowan, followed by a single by Will Spence and a double by Bennett Jeffreys, narrowed the lead to 5-3.

"We were just waiting for someone to step up and get our offense going," said Davis. "That person for us tonight was Jeffreys."

With Alex Raper in relief of starter Adam Williams handcuffing their guests, Aycock tied the game at five in the fifth. Walks were Rosewood's undoing again. The Eagle pitching staff, which yielded 13 walks, put Bradley Taylor and Joseph Toler on board only to have Taylor come home on Jackson Massey's single.

Toler scored on a balk.

Two Rosewood errors in the bottom of the sixth gave Aycock the lead. Jeffreys was safe on an infield error and went to second. Garrett Davis attempted a sacrifice, but the throw to first went wild, allowing Jeffreys to score. Bartlett's sacrifice fly to right brought in Davis with an insurance run.

Although the Eagles had the tying runs on base in the seventh, Sasser earned his fireman's hat, ending the game with a strikeout and infield pop.

"We lost the battle tonight," said Adams. "This game will clearly help us win our next 21 'wars' coming up. Our pitchers were on a set number of throws. Our five basketball players are only in their second week of practice.

"It's early. We had a lot of positives. Six players played their first varsity game. The learning process will continue tomorrow afternoon against Wilson Fike."

Aycock gets a little practice time before entertaining Goldsboro next Tuesday.

"With us down 5-0, Raper and Sasser came through for us," said Davis. "Besides pitching, where it's always ahead of hitting at the beginning of the year, the little things were the key to our win.

"We must have had five or six stolen bases. Our base running and bunting were excellent."