03/09/13 — CBA survives fourth-inning mistakes, eases past North Lenoir

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CBA survives fourth-inning mistakes, eases past North Lenoir

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 9, 2013 11:10 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock survived a shaky middle inning on defense and Bobby Hampton shut the door on Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference baseball nemesis North Lenoir on Friday evening.

The Golden Falcons overcame five defensive miscues and Hampton tossed 32/3 innings of six-strikeout relief in a 7-5 triumph at Charles Davis Field.

Aycock won its second straight ECC game in a 24-hour period.

"To win at Triton, and people don't realize how big that is in this conference this year, to be able to do that and come out tonight to play well enough at times to win again (is big)," CBA head coach Charles Davis said.

The Golden Falcons and Hawks are 6-6 against each other since 2008.

Hampton relieved starter Greg Johnson in the top of the fourth inning. Johnson lost his shutout bid, permitting five runs (two earned) on two hits and three walks.

Aycock committed two infield errors behind the senior southpaw, which helped the Hawks shave a six-run deficit to 6-5. Landon Letchworth cranked out an RBI single and Daron Gray provided a two-RBI base knock during the rally.

"We showed a lot of grit battling back that one inning," North Lenoir head coach Jim Montague said. "They kicked the ball around."

Hawks reliever Tyler Smith retired nine of 10 batters he faced until he surrendered a lead-off single to Garrett Joyner to start the sixth. Joyner moved into scoring position on Hampton's sacrifice bunt and crossed the plate on Ben Rouse's pinch-hit, bases-loaded RBI walk.

Hampton notched two seventh-inning strikeouts for his first save of the season. The sophomore lefty retired seven straight batters and was assisted by catcher Noah West, who gunned down two runners on the night.

Johnson earned his second decision of the season.

North Lenoir (1-2 overall) managed just three hits on the night and slipped to 0-2 against ECC opposition this season.

"Bobby, he came in and threw the ball extremely well," Davis said. "Greg gave us a good outing. We're still walking too many people as a pitching staff and that's what I told them.

"We've dodged some bullets, so far. A team like North Lenoir that is well-coached, you can't give them extra chances and we did do that. We were able to come out with a win."

Aycock (4-1) led 6-0 after two innings.

Alex Burke delivered a two-RBI single in the second inning. West (2-for-2, 2 RBI), Johnson and Hampton plated runs with RBI shots.

The Hawks' Seth Beard took the pitching loss. The junior right-hander allowed six earned runs on six hits, walked four and struck out two in a two-inning stint.