Pate throws 3-hit shutout
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on March 27, 2013 1:47 PM
DUDLEY -- In a pivotal Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference road game, Charles B. Aycock turned to its leader in hopes of a big-time performance.
Adam Pate didn't disappoint.
Pate went 4 for 4 at the plate with an RBI and seven stolen bases, and earned the win on the mound in the Golden Falcons' 5-0 victory on Tuesday evening at Southern Wayne. Pate scattered three hits with six strikeouts and a walk in a complete-game shutout.
The win was Aycock's first over Southern Wayne since 2011 and the Golden Falcons improved to 3-1 in ECC road games this season.
"When you have a kid like Adam Pate on your team and he goes 4 for 4 with seven stolen bases and pitches a shutout what more can you ask for?," Aycock head coach Charles Davis said. "He takes it upon itself. That's the type of the leader he is. He knows what's at stake and he's going to bring his best effort and fortunately today he was at his very best."
The Golden Falcons (10-2 overall, 5-1 ECC) pushed across a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Garrett Joyner reached on an error and later scored on Pate's single and a Saints' error in the outfield.
Noah West added a run-scoring groundout.
"Adam Pate was really good tonight," Southern Wayne head coach Trae McKee said. "We didn't make a play on a routine ground ball early. We've got to come ready to play."
Jacob Naughton's sacrifice fly scored Pate and increased Aycock's lead to 3-0 in the top of the third inning. Pate stole home in the top of the fifth inning as the lead grew to 4-0.
"Adam's got the green light (to steal) until I take it off," Davis said. "Adam knows how to steal bases and we work on that, too. When we're not swinging the bats as well as we can, we have to manufacture runs."
West's RBI single in the top of the seventh inning drove home Pate to complete the Golden Falcons' scoring.
Pate retired the Saints in four of the seven innings and Southern Wayne (7-4, 3-3) had just two base runners after the second inning.
"When you throw strikes and work ahead in the count and let your defense work for you, that's what you want to do," Davis said. "Southern Wayne sure wasn't going to take a lot of pitches ... they were hacking."
The victory keeps Aycock just a game behind league-leader South Johnston.
"This is always a tough place for us to play and fortunately for us today we were able to come out on top," Davis said. "To go 5-1 through the conference the first time and winning three of those on the road is huge. It is still a long season and I don't think there is one dominant team in our conference."
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