04/27/12 — Southpaw handcuffs Warriors

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Southpaw handcuffs Warriors

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 27, 2012 1:48 PM

Bryant Stafford let the baseball fly out of his left hand one last time.

He then pumped his fist and walked towards the dugout.

This was a final regular-season start he won't soon forget.

Eastern Wayne won't either.

Stafford pitched a complete-game, two-hitter and recorded 13 strikeouts as Charles B. Aycock defeated Eastern Wayne 2-1 on Thursday night in New Hope. The Golden Falcons have won six of their last seven ballgames.

Aycock (15-7 overall, 8-4 ECC) grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Adam Pate's single to left field was mishandled, which allowed Avery Anderson to score.

Blake Sutton's ground ball resulted in two more errors as Pate raced home.

Stafford retired nine of the first 10 of the first batters he faced. Zack Mozingo's one-out single in the bottom of the first inning was the Warriors' lone base runner through the first three innings. Working quickly while using an effective curveball, Stafford struck at least two batters in four of the seven innings played.

"I found the curveball when it needed to be found and I threw it for strikes when it needed to be thrown for strikes," Stafford said. "It just felt good to be in a rhythm and pumping the ball up there good. This means a lot, it's our last game of the regular season and with me being a senior I wanted to come out and get a win tonight.

"I was going to make sure of that."

Mozingo kept Eastern Wayne (14-6, 10-2) within striking distance by striking out 10 Aycock batters. The right-hander scattered six hits.

Neither pitcher issued a walk.

"Mo threw the ball good," Warriors' head coach Jabo Fulghum said. "They had a couple of hits, but we made some errors. They did a better job than us with two strikes."

Stafford struck out Nolan James to start the bottom of the seventh inning before Wes Capps' solo home run to right field pulled Eastern Wayne to within 2-1. Tyler Huetter reached on an error before Stafford struck out Josh Dixon and Wes Stewart to end the ballgame.

"For the last two weeks we have really come together," Aycock head coach Charles Davis said. "Bryant threw the ball exceptionally well tonight. There was no way Bryant was coming out tonight. The game was going to be his to win or loss right there. He made one mistake to Capps, but the ball was in Bryant's hands and it wasn't coming out tonight."

Justin Barbour led the Golden Falcons with two hits.