03/20/11 — Early-inning support gives Limbaugh confidence

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Early-inning support gives Limbaugh confidence

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 20, 2011 1:51 AM

PIKEVILLE -- Derek Limbaugh felt better.

Early-inning run support boosted his confidence.

And Charles B. Aycock remained unbeaten on the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference baseball scene Friday evening. Cameron and Jonathan Taylor each slugged a first-inning home run in a 21-1 triumph over league newcomer Cleveland.

Eight of 13 Golden Falcons who received playing time recorded at least one hit in the mercy rule-shortened contest. Lead-off batter Adam Pate ended up 3-for-4 with three RBI, while Cameron Taylor collected season highs in hits (five) and RBI (four).

Jeff Davis clubbed a home run in a 2-for-3, three-RBI showing. Collin DuBose (three RBI) had one hit, while Livingstone University signee Craig Murdock drove in two runs.

Aycock finished with 16 hits as a team and won three games in a week for the first time this season.

"In this conference, I don't care who your opponent is, each game is big," said Golden Falcons head coach Charles Davis. "We wanted to take the approach to come out, no so much playing your opponent, but playing the game the way it's supposed to be played ... do the little things and everything else will take care of itself."

The Golden Falcons (7-2 overall, 4-0 ECC) gave Limbaugh all the assistance he needed during their first at-bat.

DuBose opened the scoring with a two-out, two-RBI single. Davis, Murdock and Pate each recorded an RBI before Cameron Taylor cleared the bases with a three-run blast to left center field.

Jon Taylor followed with a solo dinger in nearly the same spot.

"We got quality at-bats," said coach Davis.

Limbaugh exited with a perfect game after three innings. The right-hander logged five strikeouts on the rubber and coaxed the Rams into four groundouts. Just two days ago, Limbaugh struggled in a non-conference outing against Rosewood.

"My mechanics were a lot better and I got ahead of my batters," said Limbaugh, who threw 29 strikes in 41 pitches. "The defense made plays. My fastball was getting over on the first pitch, and when you get ahead, everything goes a lot more smoother.

"Then I was finishing guys with my fastball and slider."

Pate provided two innings of three-hit, one-run relief.

Aycock returns to action Tuesday at defending ECC champion Eastern Wayne. First pitch is 5 p.m. at New Hope.