04/05/06 — Price is right in Aycock victory

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Price is right in Aycock victory

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 5, 2006 2:22 PM

PIKEVILLE -- The Price was right Tuesday evening.

Charles B. Aycock held a precarious one-run lead, but county rival Eastern Wayne threatened with runners at first and second in the seventh inning. The Golden Falcon coaching staff paced the dugout and discussed if they needed to remove starter Garrett Davis.

Davis threw two consecutive balls to Joey Moye and Aycock head coach Charles Davis quickly hustled to the mound. He pulled the right-handed Davis in favor of reliever Brandon Price, who had been warming up in the bullpen since the fifth inning.

Price's first pitch to Moye just missed the outside corner. The next three pitches -- all strikes between the knees and belt -- went untouched by Moye, who collected his second strikeout of the night. Price earned his third save of the season and preserved Aycock's 3-2 victory.

"We've got confidence in Joey, but he didn't pull the trigger," said Eastern Wayne head coach Jabo Fulghum. "His time will come again (and) he'll pull the trigger next time.

"The kids responded and were ready to play tonight for the first time in a long time. We've got to play this way every day and if we do this every day, we'll become a better club."

The Golden Falcons, ranked No. 2 in the latest ImpactBaseball.com Class 3-A poll, improved to 13-1 overall. They remained unbeaten in four Eastern Carolina Conference outings and entertain co-leader Southern Wayne at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Warriors (5-7, 2-2 ECC) had their modest two-game win streak snapped in conference play. They play host to Kinston on Friday.

"We feel very fortunate to come out with a win tonight," said Davis. "Eastern Wayne came ready to play. We allowed them to take it to us a little and they did.

"They weren't intimidated a bit."

Eastern Wayne banged out five hits against the right-handed Davis in the first three innings combined. But the Warriors left four of those five runners stranded in scoring position.

Davis avoided significant damage with five strikeouts, three infield ground-outs and one pop-up behind the plate.

"We had some golden opportunities, but couldn't get anybody across," said Warriors coach Jabo Fulghum.

Aycock erased the scoreless tie with a three-run, third-inning outburst.

Thomas Pilkington belted a 2-1 change-up into the right center field gap to start the uprising. Grant Sasser legged out an infield single to put runners on the corner.

Warrior right-hander Tyler Ham (2-2) walked Jackson Massey and yielded a two-RBI double to Will Spence. Joseph Toler cleaned up the bases with a fielder's choice groundout, which scored Massey for the eventual game-winning run.

"I thought we had good at-bats that inning," said coach Davis. "But then we seemed to go back to our old ways. I don't know if we're just hard-headed country boys, but it's time to make adjustments."

Ham allowed just one hit, a fourth-inning single to Pilkington, but didn't allow another run. The senior right-hander retired five of the final six batters he faced, including striking out the side in the sixth.

The Warriors denied the Golden Falcons' shutout bid in the sixth. Moye drew a lead-off walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. One out later, Moye moved into scoring position on Taylor Sutton's fly ball to deep center field, which Massey shagged on the warning track.

Aycock's coaches expected a possible steal and called a pickoff play. But Golden Falcon catcher Bennett Jeffreys bobbled the relay throw from Pilkington and Moye slid safely past to make it 3-1.

Davis, who hadn't thrown more than five innings in any start this season, hit Warrior catcher Walker Gourley to start the seventh. Davis forced a pair of ground-ball outs and then fell victim to back-to-back infield errors.

That brought Moye, who was 1-for-2 at that point, to the plate.

"We knew Moye was a good fastball hitter and had the capability of hitting a three-run bomb right there," said coach Davis. "We just wanted to stay away from him. If we walk him, that puts the winning run at second base, but we'll take our chances there.

"I'll you what, I'm glad Brandon is on my team."

Price and Davis combined for 11 strikeouts.

Notes: Davis retired eight consecutive batters before issuing a walk to Moye in the sixth. ... Jeffreys led the Golden Falcon defense with 12 putouts. ... Gourley, a freshman, had nine putouts for the Warriors. ... Ham recorded eight strikeouts.

Eastern Wayne 000 001 1 -- 2 5 2

C.B. Aycock 003 000 x -- 3 5 4

Leading hitters -- Eastern Wayne -- Tyler Ham 1-4, 2B; Joey Moye 1-3; Taylor Sutton 1-3; Walker Gourley 1-2; Nolan Lancaster 1-3. C.B. Aycock -- Will Spence 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Joseph Toler 1-3, RBI; Thomas Pilkington 2-2, 2B; Grant Sasser 1-1.

LOB -- Eastern Wayne 7, C.B. Aycock 4. SH -- Mintz.


Eastern Wayne

Ham (L, 2-2) 6 5 3 3 1 8

C.B. Aycock

Davis (W, 4-0) 62/3 5 2 0 2 10

Price (S, 3) 1/3 0 0 0 0 1

Davis threw two pitches to Moye in 7th.

WP -- Davis. PB -- Jeffreys.