05/07/10 — Golden Falcons launch four HRs against Saints

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Golden Falcons launch four HRs against Saints

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 7, 2010 1:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Maybe the hitting woes are over.

Charles B. Aycock certainly hopes so after an emphatic, three-inning offensive display Thursday evening.

Connor Narron, Adron Hollowell and Jonathan Taylor each swatted a two-run homer in an 11-1 triumph over county rival Southern Wayne during semifinal-round action in the 2010 Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference baseball tournament.

The mercy rule-shortened victory propelled Aycock into Monday's title clash at three-time defending regular-season champion Eastern Wayne. First pitch is 7 p.m. The Golden Falcons (21-4 overall) have appeared in all five ECC tournament finals since the league adopted the format in 2006.

"With the way the last two weeks have gone, we needed a win like this," said Aycock head coach Charles Davis. "Hopefully, this will lead us to bigger and better things."

C.B. Aycock ended a two-game skid and shook off a late-season slump that included three losses in its last four outings. Before their encounter with the Saints, the Golden Falcons had scored runs in just four of their previous 28 innings of action.

Tyler Farmer started the offensive outburst with a first-inning, lead-off homer, and emerged one of eight Aycock starters to collect at least one hit against three Southern Wayne hurlers. Overall, the Golden Falcons recorded 10 hits with eight coming in the final three innings.

Narron's two-RBI blast, his seventh of the season, helped extend Aycock's lead to 5-1 in the fourth inning. Jeff Carmel supplied a two-out, two-RBI single in the fifth.

Hollowell and Taylor each clubbed a two-run homer in the sixth. The Golden Falcons have belted a county- and ECC-leading 31 home runs this season.

"When you're not throwing consistent strikes to get ahead of hitters, they get in predictable counts and they're a good-hitting club, there's no doubt about it," said Southern Wayne head coach Trae McKee.

The Saints (13-13) struggled to generate offense.

Zach Grantham's first-inning, RBI sacrifice fly accounted for Southern Wayne's lone run. Taylor Gainey and Keith Jones each batted 1-for-2 in an offense that put pressure on Aycock's defense in five of six innings.

However, Southern Wayne left eight runners on base.

"I thought we were too passive in the box, not aggressive on pitches that we could hit," said McKee. "We chased balls above our hands ... created a hole for ourselves that he's (Aycock hurler Bryant Stafford) not necessarily getting ahead of you, you're getting behind on your own.

"It's a matter of plate discipline and capitalizing on balls that we didn't get to hit hard."

Stafford (5-1) permitted one earned run on two hits, and fanned five Saints in five innings. Derek Limbaugh threw a scoreless sixth.

"Bryant wasn't as sharp as he has been, but at least he battled," said Davis. "I thought our (plate) approaches were great to begin with, then we kind of went away from it, but we got back to it right there at the end of the ballgame."