05/29/12 — Aycock's three-pitcher rotation does the job

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Aycock's three-pitcher rotation does the job

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 29, 2012 1:48 PM

Experience matters in the postseason, and for the pitchers of the Charles B. Aycock baseball team, the valuable knowledge of working all three days of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A East Regional playoff series could pay off big as the team readies for the state championship this weekend.

Adam Pate, Collin DuBose and Bryant Stafford each started one game of the regional and will likely each start a game of the finals.

"I have a lot of confidence in any of those guys," Golden Falcon head coach Charles Davis said. "No matter what order works out as far as game one, game two, game three ... that will figure itself out."

Pate pitched the opening game of the regional and lasted five innings. The right-hander suffered the loss despite a better-than-average outing. Eastern Alamance ace Nick Monroe tossed a no-hitter on the flip side of Pate's start.

DuBose won the pivotal second game of the series and got the momentum back for his squad. The everyday third baseman worked a complete game and allowed just one run.

"Collin looked very comfortable on the mound and he didn't try to do too much," C.B. Aycock catcher Justin Barbour said. "We jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and I think that gave him the confidence to just throw strikes and not worry about trying to be perfect."

Stafford was also staked to a 3-0 lead in the deciding game of the set with Eastern Alamance. The left-hander rolled through six innings before struggling in the seventh. Stafford ultimately earned the win on three days rest and propelled the Golden Falcons into the state championship series.

"Bryant went out and he battled from the opening pitch to the last pitch," Davis said. "He has been the guy that has taken the ball in big games this season, and he has done a great job throwing strikes and staying focused."

Should the Golden Falcons need extra arms , he two guys who will likely get the call are Ryan Grant and Cameron Taylor. Grant tossed two innings of relief in the regional. Taylor emerged as a viable arm as a junior and is normally ready on a moment's notice from his spot at shortstop.

"As a catcher I obviously handle all five of those guys a little bit differently," Barbour said. "But I have a lot of faith in all of them. It doesn't matter to me who the coaches call on for which game, I will do my best to keep them throwing strikes."