05/25/07 — C.B. Aycock steals game one

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C.B. Aycock steals game one

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on May 25, 2007 1:47 PM

PIKEVILLE -- In the bottom of the first inning C.B. Aycock's Will Edgerton was thrown out trying to steal second base.

The play was significant in the fact that it would be the only time all night Northern Nash would throw out a runner.

The Golden Falcons would go on to swipe nine bases which set up all five runs in a 5-2 win over the Knights in game one of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A eastern region finals on Thursday night.

"That's the difference in the ball game," said Aycock coach Charles Davis. "We were the aggressor on the bases. I think we proved once we got on base we could run a little bit."

Aycock was victorious for the 23rd straight time to improve to 28-3 overall and take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series against Northern Nash.

If there was one negative to the evening it was the amount of times the Aycock hitters swung and missed against Knights' pitching. Aycock struck out 12 times on the night -- including on seven of eight outs recorded by reliever Andrew Webb.

"Way too many strikeouts," said Davis. "A lot of that is us being hard headed."

Joseph Toler agreed with his coach's sentiments.

"We didn't have the best night at the plate," he said. "We've got to do a lot better."

Despite not hitting as well as they would have liked, the Golden Falcons found another way to create offense -- with their legs.

The Golden Falcons baserunners terrorized Knights catcher Tyler Clark all game long, starting in the first inning.

With two outs and no one on, Garrett Davis reached on an error, stole second base and then came home on an RBI single by Zack Wright to make the score 1-0 Golden Falcons.

"It felt real good when Garrett got that run," said starting pitcher Garrett Sasser. "It's always great to go out there and know that you have a run behind you."

Sasser would soon have even more runs to work with.

In the bottom of the fourth, Toler led off with a hit and Connor Narron drew a walk. Both runners then stole second and third respectively to set the table for the rest of the inning.

Thomas Pilkington and Edgerton both brought the runners home on RBI singles to give Aycock the 3-0 advantage. After stealing third base, Pilkington would come home on a Tyler Joyner wild pitch for the third run of the inning.

"We were being really aggressive," said Toler, who had two of Aycock's eight steals. "It's all about how (Northern Nash) reacts to a certain situation and they didn't react too good to that situation tonight."

Toler would set up Aycock's final run of the night when he singled, stole second and came home on Northern Nash's fourth error of the night.

Five runs was all Sasser needed as he would improve to a perfect 9-0 by holding Northern Nash to two runs on three hits and walked three in 5 1/3 innings.

"I'm proud of Grant," said Davis. "He stepped it up tonight and threw the ball great."

Sasser's didn't try to do too much on the mound and relied on his defense to make plays behind him.

"I was trying to keep the ball low, throw some ground balls and get some pop ups," he said. "I wasn't trying to go out there and strike a bunch of people out. I just got them to put the ball in play and let my defense behind me work."

Sasser frustrated the Knights' batters with a nasty cutter that helped him strike out seven batters on the night.

"It was working real good and it felt good to be able to use it," said Sasser.

The only trouble the left-hander would get into came in the sixth inning when he allowed a two-run homer to Desaray Rosser.

"Grant made one mistake," said Davis. "The pitch before that looked great. We probably should have thrown something else, but hey, hindsight is always 20/20."

Sasser would leave to a thunderous ovation from the standing-room-only crowd and turn the ball over to Kyle Harmon.

Harmon threw 1 2/3 hitless innings to pick up his second save.

Aycock will now hit the road for Rocky Mount for game two of the series tonight. Brandon Price will take the ball for the Golden Falcons.

"Tomorrow's another day, a new ball game," said Davis. "Coach (Al) Carter is going to have his guys ready to play tomorrow at their place and it's been a while since we've been on the road. They'll be trying their best to get back here on Saturday night."

Northern Nash 000 002 0 -- 2 3 4

C.B. Aycock 100 310 x -- 5 6 1

Leading Hitters -- Northern Nash -- Desaray Rosser 2-2, HR, 2 RBI. C.B. Aycock -- Joseph Toler 2-3, 2 R; Thomas Pilkington 2-2, RBI, R; Will Edgerton 1-2, RBI; Zack Wright 1-2, RBI.

DP -- C.B. Aycock 1. LOB -- Northern Nash 5, C.B. Aycock 5. SB -- Edgerton 2, Toler 2, Narron 2, Davis, Pilkington, Medford. CS -- Shannonhouse, Edgerton.


Northern Nash

Joyner (L) 3 1/3 4 4 3 4 5

Webb 2 2/3 2 1 1 0 7

C.B. Aycock

Sasser (W, 9-0) 5 1/3 3 2 2 3 7

Harmon (S, 2) 1 2/3 0 0 0 1 1

WP -- Webb 2, Joyner. HBP -- by Joyner (Edgerton); by Sasser (Sykes).