Taylor-made victory: Aycock doubles up Saints in ECC baseball
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on April 4, 2007 1:49 PM
DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne has been a place of horrors over the years for the Charles B. Aycock baseball team.
Wins on the Saints' home turf have been few and far between for the Golden Falcons, which is why Tuesday night's game was so important for Aycock coach Charles Davis and his players.
Thanks to a seventh-inning lead-off home run by Bradley Taylor and Garrett Davis' first save of the year, C.B. Aycock escaped Southern Wayne with a 4-2 victory.
"This is the first time we've won over here in a long time," coach Davis said. "This has always been a tough place for us to play. We feel very fortunate to get out of here with a win."
Emerging victorious didn't come easy as Southern Wayne pitcher Sterling Grice had a solid effort, pitching a complete game.
The seven-inning performance by Grice (1-3), however, may have lasted an inning too long.
As Grice took the mound in a 2-2 game to start the seventh inning, he seemed to pull a muscle during warm-ups. After a few minutes of stretching, Grice pronounced himself good to go.
The first batter Grice would face in the inning was Taylor, who would work the count full. Taylor then guessed right as he hammered a fastball over the center field fence for his third homer of the season.
"I was leading off the inning, just trying to put the ball in play and get on base," said Taylor. "As soon as I hit it, I knew it was gone."
Taylor pumped his fist into the air as he rounded first and was then mobbed by his teammates as he crossed home plate.
"We haven't won here in a few years and I was just pumped," Taylor said of the moment.
The hit impressed his coach.
"Bradley stepped up and hit for us right there," said coach Davis. "We were just looking to get him on base."
Aycock would add another run when Davis scored on a ground out by Jay Rose.
The Golden Falcons weren't out of the woods yet as Southern Wayne put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the seventh against Rose.
Rose (3-0) had held Southern Wayne scoreless in his 12/3 innings of relief, but now needed a little help to get out of the jam.
Coach Davis turned to one of his aces as he pointed to center field and had Davis trot in.
Davis had pitched this past Friday in a dominating, 12-strikeout performance against Eastern Wayne and was now being asked to help the Golden Falcons to another big conference win.
"Garrett told me he could come in and close and that's stepping up and being a leader," said coach Davis.
Davis got Byron Powell to ground out and following an intentional walk to Brady Wiggins, Doogie Niemond stood in as Southern Wayne's final hope.
Niemond was overmatched as Davis struck him out on three pitches to seal the victory.
"You've got to make your own breaks," Southern Wayne coach Trae McKee said. "You've got to get someone to step up in a big situation. We just needed a clutch hit somewhere."
Southern Wayne had gotten a couple of clutch hits by Tyler Edwards in the fourth inning and Powell in the fifth off of starter Grant Sasser, to take a 2-1 lead before Taylor's heroics.
Sasser pitched 42/3 innings and allowed one earned run on three hits, walked three and struck out nine.
"Grant wasn't as sharp as he normally is, but what we're looking from him is velocity," said coach Davis. "He threw some pitches there in the later innings that were faster than in his first few innings."
The win improves the first place Golden Falcons to 4-1 in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference and 9-3 overall. Southern Wayne drops to 5-8 (2-3 ECC).
"We did what we had to," coach Davis said. "We're just happy to get through tonight with a win."
C.B. Aycock 010 001 2 -- 4 5 2
So. Wayne 000 110 0 -- 2 3 1
Leading Hitters -- C.B. Aycock -- Bradley Taylor 1-3, HR, RBI; Will Edgerton 1-3, RBI; Brandon Price 1-2, RBI. Southern Wayne -- Tyler Edwards 1-2, RBI; Byron Powell 1-3, RBI.
LOB -- C.B. Aycock 9, Southern Wayne 10. SB -- Taylor. S -- Pilkington, Narron, Niemond 2. SF -- Price.
IP H R ER BB SO
Sasser 42/3 3 2 1 3 9
Rose (W, 3-0) 12/3 0 0 0 2 3
Davis (S, 1) 2/3 0 0 0 0 1
Grice (L, 1-3) 7 5 4 4 5 1
WP -- Sasser 2. HBP -- by Sasser (Wiggins), by Grice (Toler).
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