Aycock bests Spring Creek junior legion
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on June 30, 2011 1:47 PM
SEVEN SPRINGS -- The big inning has haunted Spring Creek all summer long and it reared its ugly head again on Wednesday evening.
Charles B. Aycock scored three runs with two outs in the fourth inning on its way to a 7-2 Junior American Legion victory.
Justin Barbour reach on an error and scored on Bryant Stafford's sacrifice fly in the top of the first inning. Rider Gardner's two-run double extended Aycock's lead to 3-0.
"To end the first inning up 3-0 that was huge," said Aycock head coach Nelson Cunningham. "When we got a 3-0 lead, Gregory Johnson came out and threw the ball well. He gave up five quality innings and he threw strikes.
"We made the plays on a wet field and in the fourth inning with two outs we strung some hits together. That shows we've gotten better throughout the year."
Chris Nichols' RBI double pulled Spring Creek to within 3-1 in the home half of the first.
Spring Creek starting pitcher Zack Harrell retired the first two Aycock batters in the fourth inning before running into trouble. Garrett Joyner delivered a two-out single to center field and scored on Bobby Hampton's base hit.
Noah West's RBI double and Barbour's RBI single increased the lead to 6-1.
"I told our guys after the game if you take away that fourth inning, it's nip and tuck all the way to the last out," said Spring Creek head coach Heath Whitfield. "Other than that I thought we played well and Zack pitched a heck of a ball game. The big innings have sort of bit us all summer long, but like I said I'm proud of the way we played."
Allen Coor scored on a pair of Aycock errors in the bottom of the fifth to trim the margin to 6-2.
Gardner's sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning capped the scoring. Hampton led Aycock with three hits and an RBI. Gregory Johnson surrendered two runs (one earned) on two hits with four strikeouts and three walks in five innings to record the win on the mound.
Ryan Grant and Stafford each pitched an inning of relief and combined to strike out the final six Spring Creek batters of the game.
"Ryan Grant came in and shut the door in the sixth inning with three strikeouts and Stafford came in the last inning and shut the door," said Cunningham. "That's probably the best two-out hitting ball game we've played. We've still got a little chance to get into the playoffs and we've got to get wins.
"It's very important right here at the end of the season to be playing good baseball and we've finally started playing a little better."
Aycock visits West Johnston tonight for a doubleheader, while Spring Creek travels to Wayne South.
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