C.B. Aycock -- 3-A state champions
By Kenneth Fine
Published in Sports on June 3, 2007 2:02 AM
RALEIGH -- Frankie Davis used to be able to tell people he was a member of the only state championship baseball team in Charles B. Aycock history.
He can't make that claim any longer.
Saturday afternoon, in front of hundreds of blue- and gold-clad fans, the Golden Falcons ended a 33-year drought, bringing home the program's second title with a 10-2 win over Southeast Guilford. C.B. Aycock swept the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A championship series 2-0 at Doak Field on the N.C. State campus.
The Golden Falcons (31-4 overall) scored four runs in the top of the first inning -- two of them coming on a two-RBI single from freshman shortstop Connor Narron -- and they never looked back.
Right-hander Brandon Price yielded just two runs and fanned five Southeast batters in five innings of work.
"All my pitches were working today," he said. "I had a lot to prove."
Coming off a rough outing against Northern Nash last Friday, he wanted to assert himself early in the count against batters. Those haunting three home runs against the Knights in a 9-0 loss turned into a distant memory as Price picked up first-pitch strike after first-pitch strike.
"I really believed in myself," Price said. "I was just trying to get on top of them and mix it up. When they were looking fastball or curveball, I snuck (my changeup) by them."
C.B. Aycock head coach Charles Davis said he had confidence in Price before the first pitch.
"Brandon Price has been this type of pitcher his whole career -- his whole life," he said. "I just had a feeling. He's so determined. I knew he was going to give us a game today and he sure did."
In his 17th year as the Golden Falcons' skipper, Davis said it is a special feeling, knowing he and the team will be bringing a title back to Pikeville.
"It's been a heck of a two days," he said. "Our kids, from day one, this has been their goal. I'm so proud of them."
And he is proud to win a championship for all those players he has coached over the years -- ones who came so close to moments like this.
"I've had great teams in the past and every player from those teams, I want them to know that they are a part of this," he said. "They laid the foundation for this championship."
But the Aycock bats were a part of it, too.
The team slugged 11 hits and scored eight runs the first two innings. Tournament MVP Jay Rose batted 4-for-7 over the two-game stand, with seven RBI and a three-run homer on Friday.
"The ball's been getting bigger," he said. "I just tried to step it up."
Outfielder Garrett Davis went 2-for-3 with two RBI doubles. The senior said he was glad to see hard work pay off before next weekend's graduation.
"It's the best feeling in the world. It feels so good to go out on top," he said. "We came out here on a mission. We've had so many good teams. We were due."
"You can't even describe how this feels," he said.
It was special for the younger players, too.
Narron still has three more years of Aycock baseball and said he hasn't quite come to terms with being a champion yet, but that isn't keeping him from thinking about defending the crown next season.
"It really hasn't hit me yet. Maybe it will tomorrow morning when I wake up for church," he said. "I'm looking forward to next year. It's always exciting to be a young guy and to be coming back."
Aycock fans said they weren't surprised by the final score -- or the outcome of the series. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, many began to talk "championship."
As Davis, now in the closer role, threw the final strike, the cowbells, air horns, screams and tears were ever present in the bleachers inside Doak Field.
A pair of graduating seniors was among the crowd. Carson Sasser made it a weekend -- traveling to Raleigh Friday and staying overnight to catch both games.
"It's a feeling like no other," he said.
He and fellow senior Rich Holder have grown up with members of the Aycock squad and formed the "K Klub" -- a tribute to the team's strikeout-pitchers Davis, Price and left-hander Grant Sasser -- and haven't missed a game all year.
Proud doesn't begin to describe the feeling Saturday, Holder said.
"It's been absolutely amazing," he said. "We love these guys. Growing up with them and seeing them go out like this is incredible."
But for Frankie Davis, one of several members of the 1974 championship team in attendance, it was a feeling all too familiar. He, too, is proud to have witnessed the second coming of Aycock baseball.
"Same heart, intensity and the coaching is just as great," he said. "They played together as a team and that's what we always tried to do. I'm reliving a lot of memories.
"We've continued to follow them every year. Aycock baseball is a family."
SE Guilford 000 001 2 -- 3 6 0
C.B. Aycock 004 014 x -- 9 13 1
Leading hitters -- Southeast Guilford -- Justin Venable 2-4, HR, RBI; Ben Areno HR; Jeff Medley 2-3, HR, RBI. C.B. Aycock -- Will Edgerton 2-4, 2B; Garrett Davis 3-4, 2 RBI; Zach Wright 2-3, 3B, 2 RBI; Jay Rose 2-4, HR, 4 RBI.
IP H R ER BB SO
Moyer (L) 5 2/3 11 8 8 6 2
Childress 1/3 2 1 1 0 0
Sasser (W, 10-0) 6 4 1 1 3 7
Harmon 1 2 2 2 0 2
C.B. Aycock 440 101 0 -- 10 11 1
SE Guilford 002 000 0 -- 2 4 2
Leading hitters -- C.B. Aycock -- Bradley Taylor 1-1; Garrett Davis 3-4, 2 2Bs, 2 RBI; Jay Rose 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI; Joseph Toler 3-4, 2 2Bs, 3 RBI; Connor Narron 1-4, 2 RBI. Southeast Guilford -- Ben Areno 1-3, RBI.
IP H R ER BB SO
Price (W, 6-2) 5 3 2 0 2 6
Davis 2 1 0 0 1 4
Cockman (L) 7 11 10 6 5 2
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