04/09/06 — Davis' blast propels CBA past Saints

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Davis' blast propels CBA past Saints

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on April 9, 2006 2:09 AM

PIKEVILLE -- After Southern Wayne rallied for three runs with two outs in the top of the seventh to tie the game, Charles B. Aycock center fielder Garrett Davis immediately starting thinking about his next at bat to lead off the bottom of the inning.

"When they scored three runs to tie the game, I started dreaming about hitting a walk-off home run in the back of my mind," Davis said.

His dream came true.

Facing Saints' senior right-hander David Combs, the junior, left-handed hitting Davis smashed a 3-1 fastball over the right field fence and well into the trees. His second homer of the season and varsity career and first-ever walk-off blast gave the Golden Falcons a dramatic, 4-3 win in front of a large crowd.

"That's something we've been preaching all year to him. When he's ahead of the count with his size and how we know he can hit, he's got to look for something he can drive," Aycock coach Charles Davis said.

Aycock (14-1 overall), ranked No. 2 in the latest ImpactBaseball.com 3-A poll, finished the first half of Eastern Carolina Conference play with a 5-0 mark. The Saints (7-6 overall) suffered their first loss in league play and stand at 4-1 heading into the second half.

Golden Falcons' junior righty, Brandon Price picked up the win in 52/3 innings of relief work. Unexpectedly, Price had to enter the game in the top of the second when southpaw Grant Sasser, who got the first out of the second, then walked a batter, exited the game after complaining of tightness in his forearm.

Price (4-1), who picked up the save on Tuesday against Eastern Wayne, worked ahead of Southern Wayne's hitters and effectively used his slider to retire 16 of the first 20 batters he faced.

Before the seventh, he ran into trouble only once, yielding back-to-back singles to Brady Wiggins and Dave Overman to start the third. After Garrett Barfield sacrifice moved the runners to second and third, Price pitched out of the jam by retiring the next two batters.

"I don't think our approaches at the plate were good early on, and we were punching out a lot," Southern Wayne coach Trae McKee said. "You've got to tip your cap to Brandon, but we were swinging at borderline sliders that weren't strikes. When you do that, you aren't going to be successful at the plate."

Price struck out six against no walks with one hit batter and seemed to be on his way to combining with Sasser for a shutout.

But with two outs in the seventh, the Saints rallied.

Wiggins posted an infield single, then Overman reached on the first-of-two costly errors by Aycock. Garrett Barfield and Chris Massey followed with back-to-back RBI singles to make it 3-2, then the duo moved to second and third on a wild pitch.

Facing a full count, third-hitter Austin Hood followed with a grounder to short that was fielded cleanly, then tossed well over the head of the first baseman. Barfield easily scored from third to tie the game at 3-3, but Massey was cut down at the plate by a hustling second baseman, Joseph Toler, who sprinted to grab the errant throw and tossed to catcher Bennett Jeffreys for the third out of the inning.

None of Price's three runs allowed proved to be earned.

"What more can you ask out of a kid," Charles Davis said of Price. "To be put in that spot ... the kid deserved a shutout, but we've just got to make the plays behind him.

"Joseph Toler plays the game 110 percent every day. He saved the ballgame."

Aycock struck for two runs in the first against Southern Wayne senior starter Ashton Langston as Jeffreys, Thomas Pilkington and Bradley Taylor posted three straight hits. Pilkington, who tripled to right, and Taylor, who singled to center, knocked home one each to make it 2-0.

The earned runs were the first allowed by a Southern Wayne starter in ECC play.

Langston tossed a pair of scoreless innings, then Jackson Massey legged out a double to start the fifth and later scored from third on a ground out to second by Toler, pushing Aycock's lead to 3-0.

Langston went 41/3, yielding three earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Both Combs, who entered the game with one out in the fifth, and Langston benefited from errorless defense by their defense.

"This hurts, and it should hurt, but you can't let it effect the rest of the season. You've got to keep battling," McKee said. "We've got a long way to go and a lot of baseball yet to be played."

Both teams return to ECC action on Tuesday. The Falcons host Wilson Beddingfield, while the Saints visit another county rival, Eastern Wayne. Both games are slated for 7 p.m. starts.

So. Wayne 000 000 3 -- 3 6 0

C.B. Aycock 020 010 1 -- 4 7 2

Leading hitters -- Southern Wayne -- Garrett Barfield 1-3, RBI, run; Chris Massey 1-4, RBI; Brady Wiggins 2-2, run. C.B. Aycock -- Garrett Davis 1-3, HR, RBI; Thomas Pilkington 1-2, 3B, RBI; Bradley Taylor 1-3, RBI; Jackson Massey 1-3, 2B, RBI; Joseph Toler 1-3, 2B, RBI.


Southern Wayne (7-6, 4-1)

A. Langston 41/3 5 3 3 1 2

D. Combs (L, 2-2) 12/3 2 1 1 0 2

C.B. Aycock (14-1, 5-0)

G. Sasser 11/3 0 0 0 1 2

B. Price (W, 4-1) 52/3 6 3 0 0 6