Frederick, stingy Warriors advance
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 23, 2010 1:50 AM
SHALLOTTE -- Defense continues to be Josh Frederick's best friend.
A crafty pitcher who can fool opposing batters with tricky off-speed stuff, Frederick welcomed the assistance he received in a 2-0 triumph over perennial power West Brunswick on Friday evening.
Shortstop Robert Faucette scooped up a grounder deep behind third base and fired a strike to Zach Beachem, who recorded a fourth-inning out by a toenail at first base.
But none were bigger than two stellar plays in the fifth.
Faucette and Beachem turned a twin killing that helped Frederick keep his shutout bid intact. With two outs and two runners aboard, second baseman Wesley Stewart stepped to his left and snagged a seeing-eye grounder by N.C. State signee Jay Gause.
Stewart threw to Beachem for the inning-ending out.
"That really relieved me, that was good stuff," smiled Frederick. "I was leaving it up a little bit (in the zone) and not throwing strikes like I wanted to. (Stewart's play) energized me."
Frederick (5-1) retired seven of the final eight batters he faced, and notched his second complete game of the season. The senior southpaw recorded 11 punchouts on the hill and walked two on 105 pitches.
West Brunswick (19-6 overall) collected six singles, including three from lead-off batter Hunter Allen. Gause, who is expected to garner attention in June's Major League amateur draft, batted 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
The Trojans had their nine-game winning streak snapped and endured their first shutout loss of the season.
"We just didn't swing the bats," said West Brunswick coach Mike Alderson, who earned his 300th career win three days earlier against Rocky Mount. "When you get to this point in the playoffs, there ain't no shabby pitching. That pitcher was real good and did a great job. He kept us off balance and we never got anything going offensively."
The Trojans had just one runner in scoring position and left seven aboard in the 2-hour, 7-minute contest. Frederick lowered his ERA to 2.41 and the Warriors
recorded their fourth shutout in their last eight games, and fifth overall this spring.
"We started out keeping it inside real hard, pounding the corners ... kept them off the plate a little bit," said Frederick. "Then we'd come outside with a curveball, which looked good other than the fifth inning. Everything was working tonight."
Eastern Wayne (16-10) struggled to give Frederick run support.
The Warriors stranded 12 runners on base and batted 2-for-12 with men in scoring position. Zach Beachem's first-inning sacrifice fly and a throwing error on a fifth-inning, hit-and-run play produced the visitors' two runs.
Center fielder Jose Ponce paced Eastern Wayne with three hits and two stolen bases. Hunter Newsome (stolen base), Greg Simms and Colton Fulghum provided one hit apiece. Courtesy runner Benito Avila swiped a bag, giving the Warriors 34 stolen bases in 35 attempts this season.
"You put the pressure on a pitcher when you don't score," said Warriors coach Jabo Fulghum. "We had some good at-bats and worked the count back (in our favor), but we'd pop up. That's baseball sometimes.
"I would like to see us push across more runs when we get that opportunity."
Eastern Wayne, which started the season 1-6, triumphed for the 15th time in its last 19 outings. The Warriors continue their N.C. High School Athletic Association playoff journey at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Hunt, which eliminated county archrival Fike 1-0 on Friday.