Golden Falcons rally in seventh
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 23, 2012 1:48 PM
SHALLOTTE -- Deal with adversity.
Play as a team.
Have some fun.
It's become a late-season mantra that's worked wonders for Charles B. Aycock and practically befuddled opponents in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A baseball playoffs.
The Golden Falcons, for the third time in a four-game span, eliminated another No. 1 seed Tuesday evening. Senior Collin DuBose delivered the game-winning single and emerged the game-winning pitcher in a come-from-behind, 4-3 triumph over West Brunswick.
C.B. Aycock (19-8 overall) returns to the eastern regional championship series for the first time in 2007 when it won the state title.
"My crowd is resilient," Golden Falcons head coach Charles Davis said. "We've struggled all year long, and have been up and down. Our coaching staff never stopped believing in these kids and that's the funny thing about sports.
"Once you get on a roll and start believing things can happen, we've been able to make some things happen."
The Golden Falcons grounded into a pair of rally-killing double plays, had two runners thrown out at the plate and went hitless with runners in scoring position through five innings.
They trailed 3-1 until the sixth.
DuBose connected on a one-out single and took second on a wild pitch. He hustled to third on Justin Barbour's base knock and eventually scored on another wild pitch by West Brunswick right-hander Ryan Caison.
The Trojans, the Waccamaw's No. 1 seed, escaped further damage when center fielder Jesse Simmons gunned down courtesy runner Jordan Lee at the plate.
"Simmons, I thought, made two great throws to the plate," Davis said. "If those throws are off any bit at all, that's two more runs right there."
Aycock got those two runs back in the seventh.
Tim Naughton drew a lead-off walk. Bobby Hampton, the No. 9 batter in the order, dropped a bunt down the third-base line and the Trojan defense threw it away into right field.
"A big break ... huge," Davis said.
West Brunswick's infield crept close to the plate in anticipation of a second bunt as Tilley worked to a 1-2 count against Pate. The junior utility player chopped a single over the third baseman's head and Naughton scampered home for the 3-3 tie.
"That was probably the right call by their coach and their team," Pate said. "I just wanted to hit the ball hard on the ground and get it through the infield. Luckily, it happened.
"I thought about the bunt, but their middle infield is really athletic, so I wasn't going to risk a push bunt. I really wanted to get a hit and score a run. That was my main focus."
Tilley recorded a strikeout and intentionally walked Cameron Taylor to load the bases for a force out. DuBose chased after a pitch in the dirt and golfed a single to shallow center field, which scored Hampton for the 4-3 advantage.
"I knew I had a job to do and we had to score a run in order for us to go back out there, keep playing and to get the lead," DuBose said. "I wanted to get in there, put the ball in play and it something. I fished out a curveball in the dirt and it went over second baseman's head. It was all I could do with it.
Adrenaline pumping through his veins, DuBose surrendered a one-out single to Simmons and plunked Erick Hill. He struck out the next batter and Dylan Darguzas tapped a grounder to Naughton, who tossed it to Blake Sutton for the game-ending out.
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