06/02/05 — Davis shuts down Nash Co. Post 58

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Davis shuts down Nash Co. Post 58

Published in Sports on June 2, 2005 1:52 PM

ROCKY MOUNT -- Will Tyson wasn't counting sheep at 3 a.m. Wednesday morning. Every time he closed his eyes, another idea flashed by.

Hit and runs, straight steals, pitching changes -- they all kept Tyson awake as he tried to rest before his first head coaching assignment with the Nash County Post 58 American Legion baseball team.

Just 21, Tyson wanted to be prepared for anything. By 10 p.m. Wednesday night he realized he may have overdone it.

For every right move Tyson made in Post 58's season-opening 7-1 loss to Wayne County Post 11, he made a wrong one, he admitted.

But most times, Tyson said the best move was to not make one at all.

"I was trying to do too much, really," Tyson, a 2005 Barton College graduate, said. "It's pretty much just over-coaching.

"You've got to let the players work out of it, until you get used to what your players can do."

Tyson wasn't in a position to do much, considering the arsenal of arms his opponent sent out.

Wayne County (3-1) had five pitchers combine on a three-hitter. Some threw hard. Others threw harder. The Post 11 staff racked up 11 strikeouts in nine innings.

Garrett Davis (1-0), a high school sophomore, started and earned the win, striking out eight in 5 1/3 innings.

"A parent told me the other day that I was known in the county as the coach that got every pitcher in the county," Wayne County coach Brad Reaves said. "That's one thing we do have."

Added Nash County's Brooks Dew: "It's unreal. I think every one of them was throwing 85-plus."

The struggling bats gave Tyson a point he knows he needs to emphasize.

"It's good for us to come out here and face a team like this, because it shows what we need to work on," Tyson said. "And now I see we need to hit. We need to hit more."

With few baserunners, Tyson tried to make the most out of each opportunity -- almost to a fault.

He took one of those learning lumps in the sixth, when he sent his catcher, Bryan Braswell, on a delayed steal with runners on first and third. The result was a patented strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out. Travis Cobb swung at a third strike. Braswell was nailed at second. Brian Allen didn't score. And No. 5 hitter Joseph Keel, one of Nash County's top power hitters, was left standing in the on-deck circle.

Not exactly the best trip through the heart of the lineup with baserunners on.

"We're learning as we go," Tyson said.

Tyson, an assistant with the team for two years, did have a few beaming moments in his debut. With Wayne County's Davis cruising along in the fifth, Tyson called on Dew to pinch hit for his starting pitcher, Jeffrey Matthews.

Dew promptly drove an opposite-field home run to right, giving Nash County its only run of the game.

Tyson said he couldn't necessarily take credit for the switch, however, because Dew probably should have been starting. But Dew turned in his paperwork late, so Tyson didn't know if his player was eligible until moments before the game started.

Paperwork? Add another thing to that list of nocturnal thoughts.