05/15/10 — Early-inning miscues allow Knights to joust Chargers

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Early-inning miscues allow Knights to joust Chargers

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 15, 2010 11:07 PM

WILSON -- Wayne Country Day's "got up and go" ... well ... it got up and went Friday afternoon.

Early-inning defensive miscues and uncharacteristic plate discipline troubled the Chargers in a 7-0 loss to nemesis Greenfield in semifinal-round action of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A baseball playoffs.

Knights right-hander Sam Kirk limited Wayne Country Day to three hits and allowed just seven base runners in a complete-game effort. The junior retired 15 of 19 batters through five-plus innings, and permitted just two Chargers to reach either second or third base.

"I don't know if we were mentally ready at the plate today," said WCDS head coach Michael Taylor. "We did not swing the bats ... as bad a day at the plate we've had this year. I don't know if they were too anxious or just trying to make things happen."

Kirk faced 27 batters and just eight worked him into a deep count. Eight Chargers connected on either the first or second pitch, and only one -- Tyson Pearson -- managed to reach base.

Wayne Country Day had just seven base runners in the game.

"I stressed to the guys before the game started that Kirk has thrown 10 innings in the past week (and) he's tired," said Taylor. "I told them to let him pitch to you. Several times were swinging at 2-0 pitches and that's not smart.

"They wanted it so bad and were trying to do too much to make it happen. In baseball, you have to let the game come to you."

Greenfield (16-7 overall) grabbed a 3-0 lead during its second at-bat.

Logan Sneed drew a lead-off walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Dillon Alvarez's base hit to shallow left field. With one out and Trevor Haines at the plate, Alvarez got caught in a rundown between third base and home.

WCDS catcher Hil Tanner tossed the relay throw back to third baseman Dare Uzzell, who appeared to tag Alvarez on the jersey. The umpire called Alvarez safe.

Haines reached safely on a dropped infield fly.

"We had two errors that were costly," said Taylor. "I think that's when it went down. We make those two plays, it's a whole different ballgame I believe."

The sixth-seeded Knights collected a fourth-inning run and plated three additional runs in the fifth. WCDS right-handers Cole Davis and Cameron Ford combined to give up seven runs (one earned) on 13 hits.

Ford earned a spot on the all-state team.

The Chargers suffered their first playoff shutout loss since 2005 and third overall in 19 postseason outings since 2003. It was the final game for four seniors -- Ford, Tucker Pearson, Stoan Stewart and Blake Marchese.