Falcons win opener
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on March 1, 2006 2:36 PM
PIKEVILLE -- After a passive offensive effort in a scrimmage at North Lenoir last week, Charles B. Aycock coach Charles Davis preached aggressiveness to his junior-laden squad heading into Tuesday's opener at home against Wilson Fike.
The Golden Falcons obviously listened.
Aycock's hitters erupted for five extra-base hits, including three home runs, and posted 15 hits in a 12-4 win over the Golden Demons in a non-conference contest between two Class 3-A foes.
Junior left fielder Bradley Taylor led the way with two round-trippers -- smashing an opposite-field, two-run shot in the third, then a three-run blast to left-center in the sixth. Shortstop Will Spence, one of only four Falcon seniors, went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer to center in the first and drove in three runs overall.
The duo was far from alone as Jackson Massey, Bennett Jeffreys, Garrett Davis, Thomas Pilkington and K.C. Kartch each had two hits.
"It was unfortunate with the rain that we only had one scrimmage, but we didn't look good swinging the bats at North Lenoir," said Davis, now in his 16th year at Aycock. "All we talked about yesterday was loading up and being ready to hit when you were in the batter's box. I've said this before, but mom and dad paid $300 for a bat, and they don't want it sitting on your shoulders.
"If our kids will keep that aggressive mentality, we can put runs on the board."
Another junior, left-hander Grant Sasser, picked up the win in five solid innings of work. An early-signee to N.C. State, Sasser (1-0) yielded only three hits and struck out six against no walks.
Fike erased a 2-0 deficit in the top of the second with three unearned runs aided by two of Aycock's six errors -- the only negative in the Falcons' opener. Facing a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the fourth, the lefty pitched out of that situation and allowed no runs to keep the score at 6-3.
After taking over for Sasser in the sixth, Kartch, a junior transfer from Laguna Beach, California, appeared to have the game finished off when he started an apparent 1-6-3 double play in the seventh. His throw to the shortstop got the second out of the inning, but the throw from short to first sailed high as Fike's Michael Brown scored the Demons' final run.
All four of Fike's runs proved to be unearned against Sasser and Kartch.
"The only negative was our defense. I think a lot of times it becomes mental," Davis said. "I thought Grant threw well today, and Kartch settled down, stayed ahead of hitters and got some ground balls."
Conversely, all 12 of Aycock's runs were earned against starter Bentley Massey (L, 0-1), who pitched the first three innings, and reliever Matthew Pittman.
"They got the ball up and the win was blowing out in a small ballpark, but we had the same chances," Fike coach Will Flowers said. "When you get behind against a good team, it's tough to come back."
Brandon Price and Jason Presser added one RBI each for Aycock, which hosts former Eastern Carolina Conference foe, West Craven, on Friday.
Pittman had a single and drove in one run for the Demons, while teammates Brown, Zac Crumpler and Brad Skinner contributed one hit apiece.
Fike, of the NEW Six Conference, hosts Goldsboro today.
Wilson Fike 030 000 1 -- 4 4 1
C.B. Aycock 204 006 x -- 12 15 6
Leading hitters -- Wilson Fike -- Matthew Pittman 1-3, RBI. C.B. Aycock -- Bradley Taylor 2-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 runs; Will Spence 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 runs; Jackson Massey 2-2, 2B, 3 runs; Bennett Jeffreys 2-4, 3B; Garrett Davis 2-3, RBI; Thomas Pilkington 2-3; K.C. Kartch 2-2, 2B, RBI; Brandon Price 1-3, RBI; Jason Presser 1-1, RBI.
IP H R ER BB SO
Wilson Fike (0-1)
Massey (L, 0-1) 3 7 6 6 1 4
Pittman 3 8 6 6 1 2
C.B. Aycock (1-0)
Sasser (W, 1-0) 5 3 3 0 0 6
Kartch 2 1 1 0 2 2
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