08/14/06 — Tobs bow out of Pettit Cup

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Tobs bow out of Pettit Cup

Published in Sports on August 14, 2006 2:17 PM

ASHEBORO -- The Wilson Tobs had their season cut short Saturday with two crushing defeats in the second day of action in the Petitt Cup.

In the first game, the Tobs lost to the Fayetteville SwampDogs, 2-1, on a walk-off single. In the second game, Wilson got blanked by the Thomasville Hi-Toms, 10-0. Both games were played back-to-back due to the tournament scheduling.

In the game against Fayetteville, both starting pitchers, Fayetteville's Bobby Lewton and Wilson's Dan Taylor, threw extremely well. Taylor allowed just one unearned run in seven innings, while Lewton allowed one run on two hits in 7 2/3 innings.

The scoring did not get started until the seventh inning. With two outs, Southern Wayne grad and Mount Olive player Erik Lovett hit a solo home run to right field to break the ice. The home run was Lovett's second of the Petitt Cup and 12th of the season. However, in the bottom of the inning, the Tobs gave a run right back on a ball hit to right field by SwampDogs catcher Mike Valadez. The play was ruled an error on second baseman Joe Pietropaoli, but the play very easily could have been called a hit.

With the game turned over to the bullpens, Shawn Balteff came in and excelled in the eighth. Balteff kept hitters off balance with his nasty changeup, and got Jordan Hafer looking to end the inning. For the top-seeded SwampDogs, closer Luke Prihoda came on in the eighth and, with runners on the corners for the Tobs, retired Travis Holloman on one pitch.

With the score still tied at one in the bottom of the ninth, Balteff gave up a one-out double to Jason Morales. After Blake Gailen lined a ball right at Lovett at first base for the second out, Tobs head coach Jeff Steele summoned closer Mike Flye into action. Flye, who had DHed for the Tobs the whole game because Eastern Wayne grad and MOC player Josh Carter left the team, threw just two pitches, with the second one being lined into center field for the game-winning hit to score Morales.

Thirty minutes later, the Tobs got back on the field to take on the sixth-seeded Thomasville Hi-Toms who had lost earlier in the day to the Peninsula Pilots. The Tobs still stinging from their loss against Fayetteville, came out very sluggish in the early going against the Hi-Toms. Thomasville starter Bubba O'Donnell needed just eight pitches to retire Wilson in the first inning, and before the Tobs knew what had happened, starter Chris Hill had given up four runs in the bottom of the first on three hits.

Wilson settled down after the first inning, but could never recover from the shellshock. The Tobs did not have a hit or a base runner until the fourth inning. They left two men on in each of the fourth and sixth innings. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Greg Jones was brought in from the bullpen as the third pitcher of the game for Wilson. Jones was unable to record an out, yielding four runs on four hits, as well as a Tobs error, one of four in the second game. When the inning was all said and done, Thomasville had padded its lead by six runs, leading 10-0. The game ended when Tyler Stovall chopped a ball to the left side of the infield for a hit, but Pietropaoli, who had doubled prior to that, rounded the base at third too wide and got caught in a rundown before being tagged out by catcher Austin Jones.

On the day, the Tobs managed just one run on 10 hits in the two games. Lovett had two hits in the first game, including the home run, three hits on the day, and went 5-for-13 in the Petitt Cup with two home runs and five RBIs. Pietropaoli had two hits in the game against Thomasville, including a double.

Wilson ended its year with a total record of 30-26.