Falcons' Kearney records five strong innings
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on March 27, 2009 1:47 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Two unlikely heroes turned in big-time performances for Charles B. Aycock on Thursday afternoon.
Reliever Jimmy Kearney tossed five solid innings in a starting role and JV call-up Travis Musselman provided two hits in the Golden Falcons' 9-2, non-conference win over Greene Central.
Heading into today's showdown against unbeaten and state-ranked Eastern Wayne, Kearney prevented Aycock head coach Charles Davis from having to go deep into the bullpen.
Kearney flirted with a no-hitter until the fourth inning and allowed two earned runs on three hits. The right-hander notched three strikeouts.
"Jimmy did a good job," said Davis. "We were able to keep the ball down today and we've struggled a little bit with that all year long. Our thing was for him to give us some innings and that's all we ask."
Musselman scored two runs and played second base. Jon Taylor handled shortstop duties for the second straight outing as Connor Narron continues to nurse an aggravating back injury.
C.B. Aycock (8-2 overall) touched up Rams starting pitcher Wes Sowers for three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tyler Farmer and Tyler Ruffin got the offense started with back-to-back singles. Taylor scored Farmer with a sacrifice fly and Nick McGee added a two-run single.
Ruffin's RBI single and Will Edgerton's RBI double in the second inning increased the margin to 5-0, and chased Sowers from the ballgame. Ruffin finished 3-for-4 with two RBI.
"Our job today was to come out focused," said Davis. "We did not play well on Tuesday. We had a great first inning and I thought pretty much for the whole ballgame we had some great at-bats today."
Alex Brann broke up Kearney's no-hit bid with a fourth-inning single and David Stallings' RBI base knock put Greene Central (5-4) on the scoreboard. Jasper Jones provided an RBI groundout to pull the Rams within 5-2.
McGee drew a bases-loaded walk in the home half of the fourth and Dylan Barfield's sacrifice fly extended Aycock's advantage to 7-2. Adron Hollowell later scored from third as part of an attempted double steal, and the Golden Falcons led 8-2 after four innings.
Ruffin's RBI single to center field in the bottom of the fifth inning capped Aycock's scoring. Derek Limbaugh tossed two scoreless innings of relief behind Kearney.
McGee was 2-for-2 with three RBI.
Stallings went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Rams, who open their Eastern Plains 2-A Conference slate at home Tuesday against North Pitt.
Weather permitting, the Golden Falcons travel to New Hope today for an afternoon battle against the Warriors. Davis anticipates taking a relaxed, but focused squad to New Hope.
"Eastern Wayne is undefeated and picked to win the conference, and we're playing at their place," said Davis. "It's another game and it's still early in the season. We've got to go over there and relax, and just play."
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