Davis shuts down Knights
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on May 27, 2007 1:59 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Charles Davis' tear-stained face told the story Saturday evening.
Three-plus decades of frustration had finally ended for the Charles B. Aycock baseball program. An emotional Davis took a moment to hug every player and not a dry eye could be found as the team celebrated a long-awaited eastern regional title.
Garrett Davis threw a masterful four-hitter and the Golden Falcons pounded Northern Nash 10-0 to win the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A eastern championship series 2-1.
"It's a great feeling," said Davis, who is making his first trip to the state finals in his 17th season. "I'm just fortunate to be along for the ride."
It was a complete turnaround from a disastrous 9-0 loss Friday evening on the Knights' home diamond, which forced the decisive third game. C.B. Aycock (29-4 overall) opposes Southeast Guilford in the best-of-three state finals next weekend.
"We took a whooping behind the shed last night, but every now and then it isn't so bad to get whooped behind the shed," said coach Davis.
The Golden Falcons came in the hungrier team and rode Davis' right arm and a collection of long balls to victory. A North Carolina signee, Davis made the Northern Nash hitters look silly all evening long as he used an overpowering fastball to strikeout 11 batters in his six shutout innings of work.
"What could you say more about him?" asked coach Davis. "Garrett came to me when we got back last night and asked if he was throwing tonight. I asked 'you want to start or relieve?' And he said 'I want the first inning and I'm going to finish.'
"When you have a kid with that type of determination you've got to feel good about your chances."
Aycock would feel even better about its chances after a power explosion from its hitters. Bradley Taylor got the offense going with a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning.
Joseph Toler and Thomas Pilkington followed with solo home runs in the second inning to put the Golden Falcons ahead 3-0.
"We were fortunate to get some balls up to hit early on in the ball game and that was a big plus," said coach Davis. "It may have taken the wind out of their sales and with Garrett on the mound, that's huge for anyone to overcome."
Zack Wright then capped the home run barrage with a shot just out of the reach of Northern Nash center fielder Daniel Moore to give Davis a 4-0 lead to work with.
Davis -- who got stronger as the game progressed -- was only in serious trouble once when the Knights put runners on second and third with two outs in the second inning. He got Aycock out of trouble with a strikeout of Justin Shannonhouse to end the inning.
"I wasn't worried about getting strikeouts tonight, just about picking up the win," said Davis. "I was coming off three days rest so I was doing whatever I could to get us the win.
Davis put an exclamation point on his performance by striking out the side in the sixth inning.
Aycock led 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth when they loaded the bases against Northern Nash's third pitcher of the night, reliever Andrew Webb.
"Our pitching was just worn out," said Northern Nash coach Al Carter. "It was kind of obvious."
Will Edgerton was then plunked by a Webb pitch to drive home Connor Narron. Two more runs came home with one out as Davis beat out an infield single to score Pilkington and Wright became the third batter to be hit by a pitch in the inning to force home Brandon Price and give Aycock a 8-0 lead.
Jay Rose then sent everyone home happy as he lined a pitch into the left-center field gap to bring home two runs and send Aycock to the state finals.
"I got down in the count and he hung a curveball that I was able to take opposite field," said Rose. "It felt good. I felt like I finished what the team started."
C.B. Aycock appeared in the eastern 3-A regional finals in 2002 and 2003, but came up short each time.
"It's been a long ride and I've had a lot of great players," said coach Davis. "Everybody that's ever been a part of C.B. Aycock baseball -- they're a part of this. We've had some great teams before, so we're very fortunate to get there now."
Northern Nash 000 000 -- 0 4 1
C.B. Aycock 121 105 x -- 10 11 0
One out when tenth run scored
Leading hitters -- Northern Nash -- Tyler Joyner 2-2. C.B. Aycock -- Joseph Toler 2-3, HR, RBI; Bradley Taylor 1-4, HR, RBI; Zack Wright 1-2, HR, 2 RBI; Thomas Pilkington 1-2, HR, 2 R, RBI; Will Edgerton 1-3, 2 R, RBI; Jay Rose 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI.
LOB -- No. Nash 7, C.B. Aycock 4. SB -- Proctor, Hill.
IP H R ER BB SO
Gay (L) 1 2 2 2 0 0
Joyner 3 2/3 5 3 2 1 5
Webb 2/3 4 5 5 0 2
Davis (W) 6 4 0 0 2 11
Gay pitched to one batter in the second.
HBP -- by Gay (Wright), by Webb (Pilkington, Edgerton, Wright), by Davis (Gay).
C.B. Aycock 000 000 0 -- 0 3 3
Northern Nash 021 303 x -- 9 9 0
Leading hitters -- C.B. Aycock -- Garrett Davis 2-3, 2B; Jay Rose 1-2, 2B. Northern Nash -- Daniel Moore 2-3, 2 HR, 6 RBI; Andrew Webb 1-4, 2B; Jason Gay 3-4, HR, RBI; Jeremy Proctor 1-2, HR, 2 RBI.
DP -- C.B. Aycock 2, No. Nash 1. LOB -- C.B. Aycock 5, No. Nash 7. SH -- Proctor.
IP H R ER BB SO
Price (L) 3 1/3 6 8 6 3 0 1
Harmon 1 2/3 0 0 0 0 0
Randolph 2/3 1 3 2 2 0
Hill 1/3 0 0 0 0 0
Woodley (W) 7 3 0 0 2 3
HBP -- by Woodley (Taylor), by Woodley (Toler), by Price (Moore), by Randolph (Shannonhouse).
T -- 1:38.
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