03/15/06 — Golden Falcons continue roll in baseball

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Golden Falcons continue roll in baseball

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on March 15, 2006 2:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- The way his teammates were hitting in the first inning against North Johnston, Charles B. Aycock's Grant Sasser probably wondered if he would ever get back out on the mound.

In the bottom of the first, the Golden Falcons erupted for 11 runs on eight hits and benefitted from five walks and four Panther errors on their way to a 16-1 win at home.

The game was called in the fifth inning due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Against a pair of North Johnston right-handers -- Lewis Edwards and Justin Keene -- Aycock sent a whopping 17 batters to the plate during the outburst. Edwards didn't record an out during his short six-batter stint. Keene faced five before getting the first out of the inning.

Will Spence and Garrett Davis contributed two hits and drove in one run each for the Falcons, while Bennett Jeffreys and K.C. Kartch both had two-run singles. Joseph Toler provided a two-RBI double as Thomas Pilkington posted a run-scoring base hit.

"We did a good job in the first inning swinging the bats. I was pleased the way we came out," Aycock coach Charles Davis said. "It gave the guys a chance to get in some at-bats."

Before and after the offensive outburst, Sasser, a left-handed junior, tossed three perfect innings and kept North Johnston off the scoreboard during his four-innings. Sasser (3-0) struck out six, including five swinging, against no walks.

The Panthers' Garrett Grady spoiled Sasser's perfect-game bid, leading off the top of the fourth with a single to left. With Craig Hardin at the plate, Jeffreys caught Grady stealing at second on a throw from behind the plate to the second baseman, Toler. Sasser went on to strike out Hardin and Travis Jones to finish off his effort -- facing the minimum, 12 batters.

Making his first appearance of the season, senior David Rose tossed the final inning, yielding two hits and one unearned run after the Golden Falcons' only error of the game.

"These kids enjoy playing the game and they understand their role. They know they've got a role on the team," said Davis. "We're blessed to have the luxury of having a number of arms, and these kids are happy when the opportunity comes for them."

First-year North Johnston coach David Lawhon used six pitchers total in four innings. Brannan Barbee and Josh Parrott proved the most effective as the righty duo tossed one scoreless inning each in the second and third, respectively.

Travis Pope got the first two outs of the fourth, before Aycock rallied for five runs to go up 16-0. Bradley Taylor, Evan Medford, Jeffreys and Toler had hits in the fourth with Medford driving in two and Toler scoring one.

Pope hit Rose and Jason Presser with pitches, while Thomas Pilkington reached on an error to help the rally.

"Overall, I'm not disappointed in our pitching effort. I'm a little disappointed in our enthusiasm and effort," said Lawhon, a former coach at Rosewood. "I wanted to schedule this game, because I want to play teams that are better than us to help us improve. When we get to conference, we're not going to see any pitching or a much better lineup than what we saw today."

Both teams return to action today in their second-of-three games this week. Aycock hosts Clayton, while North Johnston travels to Knightdale. The Falcons and Panthers face each other again on Friday in Kenly.

North Johnston 000 01 -- 1 3 5

C.B. Aycock (11)00 5x -- 16 13 1

Leading hitters - N. Johnston - Travis Pope 1-2, 2B, run. C.B. Aycock - Will Spence 3-3, 2B, RBI; Bennett Jeffreys 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI; K.C. Kartch 1-2, 2 RBI; Garrett Davis 2-2, RBI; Evan Medford 1-2, 2 RBI; Joseph Toler 2-2, 2B, 2 RBI.


N. Johnston (2-3)

L. Edwards (L) 0 4 6 5 2 0

J. Keene 1 4 5 3 3 1

B. Barbee 1 1 0 0 1 1

J. Parrott 1 0 0 0 1 2

T. Pope 2/3 4 5 3 1 0

T. Jones 1/3 0 0 0 0 1

C.B. Aycock (7-0)

G. Sasser (3-0) 4 1 0 0 0 6

D. Rose 1 2 1 0 0 0

Edwards faced six batters in the first