03/12/06 — Road-weary CBA improves to 5-0

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Road-weary CBA improves to 5-0

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 12, 2006 2:26 AM

SNOW HILL -- With eight returning starters, including one of the east's top pitching staffs, veteran Charles B. Aycock baseball coach Charles Davis wondered how his team would react in road games.

Davis got his answer Friday afternoon.

The Golden Falcons struggled with runners in scoring position, but managed to squeeze out a 2-1, non-conference victory over Greene Central. Ranked No. 9 among the state's Class 3-A teams by ImpactBaseball.com, C.B. Aycock seized its third road win in a four-day stretch and improved to 5-0 overall.

"I wanted to see how mentally tough we were to get on the bus and ride three times in one week," said Davis.

Aycock passed the test ... barely.

Evan Medford delivered Aycock's lone hit, a fifth-inning RBI single, with a runner in scoring position. Joseph Toler scampered home for the 2-0 lead on what turned out to be the game-winning run.

The Rams' Hunter Chase closed the gap to 2-1 with a solo home run in the sixth -- his second round-tripper of the season.

"You're going to have days when things just don't go your way," said Davis, whose team batted a season-low 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. "We executed some parts of the game and other parts we didn't execute. I told the guys, if everything goes perfect, we have nothing to work for.

"At times today, it felt like we were a little snakebit."

Greene Central's defense kept the game close.

Starting right-hander Drew Sowers allowed a first-inning run and had another potential run just 90 feet from the plate. But he posted back-to-back strikeouts to duck any further damage.

The Golden Falcons went quietly in the third, but threatened again in the fourth. Rams catcher Lance Murray gunned down Bennett Jeffreys, who leaned too far off second base on a bunt attempt. One batter later, Greene Central (3-2) turned an inning-ending double play.

C.B. Aycock loaded the bases in the sixth. K.C. Kartch hit a low liner that Trey Beamon snagged before it hit the ground -- according to the field umpire. Beamon finished off the 4-6-4-3 triple play with an assist to Hunter Chase at shortstop and first baseman Tyler Chase.

"Defensively, I thought we played pretty good today and Drew threw extremely well ... the best he's pitched this year," said Greene Central coach Russell Brann. "We just have to get a little bit tougher at the plate, but we faced a very good pitcher (Garrett Davis) and he did an excellent job.

"But we can't be satisfied because a good pitcher beat us. We have to adjust and have to want to get better."

Davis (2-0) limited the Rams to one hit and notched six strikeouts in a five-inning stint. The junior right-hander retired the side in the first and third innings, and got help from Jeffreys, who caught a runner stealing in the second inning.

Greene Central, of the Eastern Plains 2-A Conference, threatened in the fifth. Sowers drew a lead-off walk and moved into scoring position on Michael Speedy's two-out single to right field. Davis struck out Curtis Braswell, the No. 9 hitter in the Rams' lineup, with a tight inside pitch to end the inning.

"I wanted to come out and have a strong performance today," said Davis, who wasn't thrilled with his most-recent start, a no decision against West Craven last Friday. "I think I did pretty good holding them to zero runs.

"Greene Central has always given us fits in the past."

Davis made one slight change due to the windy conditions. He mixed a fastball with a change-up, but rarely used the curve ball.

"It would have made it weaker and it wouldn't have broken as much," he said.

Brandon Price entered in the sixth and faced seven batters over the final two innings. The junior right-hander collected four strikeouts and earned his first save of the season.

C.B. Aycock 100 010 0 -- 2 5 1

Greene Central 000 001 0 -- 1 2 1

Leading hitters -- C.B. Aycock -- Bradley Taylor 1-2; Bennett Jeffreys 1-2; K.C. Kartch 1-3, 2B; Joseph Toler 1-2; Evan Medford 1-2. Greene Central -- Hunter Chase 1-3, HR, RBI; Michael Speedy 1-2.

LOB -- C.B. Aycock 6, Greene Central 4. DP -- Greene Central 1. TP -- Greene Central 1. SH -- Beamon, Pilkington. HR -- Chase (2).


C.B. Aycock (5-0)

Davis (W, 1-0) 5 1 0 0 2 6

Price (S, 1) 2 1 1 1 0 4

Greene Central (3-2)

Sowers (L, 1-1) 6 5 2 2 2 5

Chase 1 0 0 0 2 0

WP -- Sowers. HBP -- Jeffreys (by Sowers).