03/12/09 — C.B. Aycock upends Princeton

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C.B. Aycock upends Princeton

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 12, 2009 1:50 PM

PRINCETON -- History almost repeated itself.

For the second consecutive season, Charles B. Aycock labored through mistakes and missed scoring opportunities on Princeton's baseball diamond. But unlike a year ago, the Golden Falcons recovered this time.

State-ranked Aycock (4-1 overall) erupted for ninth fourth-inning runs and cruised to a 13-2, non-conference decision over the Bulldawgs on Wednesday afternoon. Officials halted the game after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

"I thought we had some mistakes early on, but the good thing about it is as the game went on, we made some adjustments," said Golden Falcons head coach Charles Davis. "It's a win and everybody got a chance to play. A positive is that some of my role players did very well."

Eight of nine Aycock starters in the lineup collected at least one hit against four Princeton hurlers. Tyler Ruffin, Nicholas McGee (RBI) and Jonathan Taylor cranked out two hits apiece. Connor Narron supplied a two-RBI, fourth-inning ground-rule double.

Reserves Anderson Barnes provided a pinch-hit, sacrifice fly, while Dillon Barfield batted 1-for-2 with an RBI.

"The guys who aren't in the starting lineup all the time found ways to contribute," said Davis, whose team amassed 12 hits.

Princeton (2-3 overall) scratched out 1-0 lead on Benton Myers' first-inning single. The two-strike hit scored Phillip Mitchell, who drew a lead-off walk against Aycock right-hander Jimmy Kearney.

Kearney, in his first-ever varsity start, permitted just two hits over the next three innings. He logged four strikeouts and retired eight of 10 batters during that stretch.

Meanwhile, the Dawgs' bullpen struggled.

Starter Matt Leverette, a senior right-hander, held the Golden Falcons scoreless on five hits in the first three innings. Aycock stranded four runners, including two in scoring position.

That didn't happen in the fourth. The Golden Falcons manufactured nine runs off eight walks, three wild pitches, a passed ball, three hits and a sacrifice fly.

Aycock led 9-1.

"One bad inning that just blew up in our face," said Dawgs head coach Bruce Proctor. "We couldn't stop the bleeding and you can't do that against anybody, especially a good team like C.B. Aycock.

"We need some more practice time ... need to work harder to get better."

Princeton pulled within 9-2 on Austin Hinton's fourth-inning, RBI triple, but could get no closer. Hinton and Myers, who swiped two bases, accounted for the Dawgs' three-hit output.

The Golden Falcons, winners of four consecutive games, pushed across four earned runs in the fifth inning to seal the outcome.