Aycock Falcons batter Princeton
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on March 4, 2008 1:50 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Question marks.
As a pair of defending state champions squared off Monday afternoon, Charles B. Aycock appeared to have addressed most of its preseason concerns, while many of Princeton's worries have already reared their heads.
The Golden Falcons erupted for nine early runs and rode the solid pitching of Jesse Randolph to a 12-1 victory in a shortened 41/2 inning affair.
Will Edgerton deposited the first pitch he saw from Bulldogs starter Dillon Daughtry over the left field fence for a 1-0 lead in the home half of the first. Zach Wright added an RBI single and Connor Narron later scored on an error.
Wright and Narron led off the bottom of the third with back-to-back bunt singles and Jordan Carr followed with a two-run double. Aycock (3-0 overall) pushed across six runs in all in the third inning to take a 9-0 lead.
The Golden Falcons scored three more runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Wright finished 2 for 2 with an RBI. Edgerton batted 3 for 3 with three RBI and Josh Martin was 2 for 3 with two RBI.
"We're swinging the bats well and we're running the bases aggressively," Aycock head coach Charles Davis said. "We laid three bunts down for base hits. That's what we've got to do. Our philosophy is get on base, I don't care how you get on base."
Randolph surrendered hits to the first batter he faced in every inning, but allowed just one unearned run on six hits to go with three strikeouts and no walks. Princeton reached base just six times and stranded five of those six.
"We're kind of a team without an identity right now," Bulldogs head coach Bruce Proctor said. "We got the leadoff guy on in every inning and didn't score. Then we made some silly baserunning mistakes. You can't do that against C.B. Aycock."
Randolph was aided by a fine defensive effort from his teammates including a pair of diving catches by center fielder Bryant Hill. Hill's sliding grab in the top of the third robbed Michael Radford of a possible double and perhaps saved a run with Princeton's Adam Pedin on second.
"Bryant Hill made some great catches out in center field," Davis said. "Overall, I was very, very pleased. We've faced three quality opponents ... and I'm pleased with our attitude and work ethic and how hard we're playing right now."
Radford ended the day 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.
Defensive questions surrounded the Bulldogs (0-2) before the start of the 2008 season particularly with a majority of the team missing significant practice time as the basketball season came to a close. Those concerns developed into a reality on Monday with Princeton committing four costly errors.
"Pitching and defense has always been a trademark of Princeton baseball and we've got to get back to that," Proctor said. "We've got to turn right back around and get better. We've got to find an identity and I think we've got to plug some holes."
C.B. Aycock visits North Lenoir today while Princeton hosts Midway. Both games begin at 4:30 p.m.
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