03/06/09 — Walk-off thriller: Ruffin's homer lifts C.B. Aycock

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Walk-off thriller: Ruffin's homer lifts C.B. Aycock

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on March 6, 2009 1:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Refusing to quit doesn't appear in a boxscore.

But it goes a long way toward winning ballgames.

Charles B. Aycock rallied from a early five-run deficit, watched a late lead disappear and celebrated when Tyler Ruffin delivered a three-run, walk-off home run in an 11-9 victory over Wilson Fike on Thursday.

The Golden Demons pushed across three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 9-8 lead.

Tyler Farmer started the Golden Falcons' seventh with an infield single and moved into scoring position on Will Edgerton's bunt single. Fike reliever Michael McLawhorn began Ruffin's at-bat with a wild pitch that advanced Farmer and Edgerton to third and second base, respectively.

McLawhorn offered a fastball up in the strike zone and Ruffin swung.

He deposited the pitch over the left-field fence and his teammates spilled onto the field to celebrate the come-from-behind win. Ruffin finished the day 2-for-4 with five RBI.

"I was just trying to get the ball into the outfield to be able to drive the run in," said Ruffin. "I just got all of it. Seeing the first two guys get on kind of made me a little antsy and ready to hit."

C.B. Aycock (1-1 overall) turned four walks, three wild pitches and a pair of timely hits into five runs in the sixth inning. Farmer, Ruffin and Connor Narron each drew a walk before Fike starter William Prince unleashed a wild pitch to score Farmer.

After Adron Hollowell walked, Jonathan Taylor knocked in Ruffin with a single. Narron trotted home on a wild pitch for the 6-6 tie. Nicolas McGee smacked a two-run double to score Hollowell and Taylor, which pushed the Golden Falcons ahead 8-6.

The Golden Demons rallied for three runs off Golden Falcons reliever Jimmy Kearney in the decisive seventh inning. David Gibbons plated Mitchell Wheeler with an RBI double and Russell Ward drove home Gibbons with a game-tying, RBI single.

Fike's final run crossed on Brett Allen's sacrifice fly.

Hollowell, in his first start, surrendered six runs (four earned) on six hits. The Eastern Wayne transfer logged five strikeouts, three walks and earned a no-decision. Kearney grabbed the win in relief.

"He was having trouble early on locating his fastball," said Golden Falcons head coach Charles Davis of Hollowell. "Then when he was trying to overthrow his change-up ... he left it up some. He's going to be a big and vital part of us this year.

"He gutted it out and gave me five innings today."

C.B. Aycock entertains Princeton today.