05/18/11 — Gryphons oust Golden Falcons, 7-4

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Gryphons oust Golden Falcons, 7-4

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 18, 2011 1:47 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Much like its entire season, Charles B. Aycock's year-ending loss to Rocky Mount was full of highs, lows and plenty of adversity.

The Golden Falcons erased an early deficit and refused to go away, but came up short in a 7-4 loss in the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A baseball playoffs Tuesday evening.

Matthew Berry's RBI double and Benton Moss' sacrifice fly put the Gryphons in front 2-0 in the top of the first inning.

Jon Taylor's two-run double to right field in the bottom of the third inning tied the game at 2-2. Aycock attempted to take the lead on Bryant Stafford's fielder's choice, but Cameron Taylor was thrown out at home. Stafford and Cameron Taylor both finished with two hits.

Berry's two-run single in the top of the fifth inning pushed Rocky Mount in front 4-2. Travis Musselman scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut the lead to 4-3.

"I love the way my kids battled," said Golden Falcons' head coach Charles Davis. "They got down. They came back and we tied it up. I don't want anything to take away from what this group has accomplished this year."

Collin Watson's three-run home run to left field in the top of the sixth extended the lead to 7-3. Stafford's solo home run to left field in the bottom of the sixth inning pulled Aycock to within 7-4.

The Golden Falcons (18-9 overall) had the tying run at the plate with two outs in the home half of the seventh. Moss got Jon Taylor to ground out to end the ball game.

"When you get to the seventh inning like that, facing a pitcher like Benton Moss, all you want is a chance," said Davis. "We had a chance."

Moss surrendered four runs on six hits with 13 strikeouts and three walks to earn the win on the mound.

The Golden Falcons overcame numerous injuries this season to capture the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season championship. Aycock reached the second round of the state playoffs for the first time since 2008.

"Our kids played the game the way it is supposed to be played," said Davis. "All they care about is what's across their chest, which is Aycock baseball and they don't care about the number on the back. For us to start the season without two players the caliber of Tyler Farmer and Travis Musselman, and for us to come together that's huge.

"If those kids will learn that from the game of baseball they will be very successful in life."