04/07/11 — North Lenoir upsets C.B. Aycock

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North Lenoir upsets C.B. Aycock

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 7, 2011 1:47 PM

LaGRANGE -- Charles B. Aycock failed to widen its lead in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference baseball ranks Wednesday evening.

North Lenoir made sure it didn't happen.

The Hawks crushed three, third-inning home runs and handed the Golden Falcons their first defeat, 9-5, in league action this season. The convincing victory pulled North Lenoir (11-2 overall, 6-2 ECC) within one game of Aycock in ECC play.

"In this conference, I honestly think the first round through we snuck up on some people," said Golden Falcons head coach Charles Davis. "Everybody is gunning for us now, so we're going to take everybody's best shot. (My) hat's off to North Lenoir tonight."

The Golden Falcons (11-3, 7-1) seized a 3-0 lead after 11/2 innings. Jonathan Taylor swatted a first-inning, two-run homer and Craig Murdock plated a second-inning run with on a rare 5-2-3 fielder's choice play.

Aycock left-hander Aaron Champion retired North Lenoir in order on 13 pitches in the opening inning. The 6-foot-2 hurler didn't fare well over the next two innings as he faced 17 batters and surrendered eight runs (six earned) on seven hits.

Champion served up three home runs during a five-batter sequence in the third inning. Grayson Phillips and Spencer Bass each ripped a solo shot, while Bryan Hardy belted a two-run homer. Murdock robbed Rand Jackson of a home run when he reached over the center-field fence and pulled the ball back into play.

"This is not a pitcher's ballpark," said North Lenoir head coach Jim Montague. "Every one of them (home runs) would have been pop-ups in any other ballpark, but we've got to play in it and everybody else has got to play in it, too.

"Wow, what an inning."

Jackson and relievers David Wiggins and Chastin Radford limited Aycock to two runs in the final five innings. Radford threw a perfect seventh as the Hawks avenged a six-run defeat to the Golden Falcons nearly a month ago.

Champion took the loss for the Golden Falcons.