Golden Falcons triumph on 7th-inning error
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 12, 2013 1:47 PM
PIKEVILLE -- South Johnston committed seven errors against Charles B. Aycock on Thursday evening.
None of those errors proved to be bigger than the last one.
Bobby Hampton scored the winning run on an error with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the Golden Falcons rallied past the Trojans, 4-3, at Charles Davis Field.
With the win, Aycock tied South Johnston atop the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference standings.
"That's a big win for our young team," said Aycock head coach Charles Davis, whose team has been involved in seven one-run games this year.
"We're growing, we're maturing a little bit as the season goes on. Any conference win is huge, but to beat South Johnston tonight was really huge."
The Golden Falcons (14-5 overall, 7-2 ECC) scratched out an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning. Hampton reached on an error and later scored on Noah West's single.
Hampton struck out seven of the first 12 batters he faced and took a no-hitter into the fourth inning until Will Dupree homered to tie the game at 1-1. Hampton, who threw a complete game, surrendered three runs (two earned) on three hits, struck out eight and walked three for his fourth win of the season.
The Trojans' defense faltered again in the fifth inning. Adam Pate reached on an error that allowed Garrett Joyner to advance from second base to third. Joyner later scored on West's fielder's choice to put Aycock back in front 2-1.
South Johnston (12-4, 6-2 ECC) battled back in the top of the seventh inning and tied the game at 2-2 on Josh Stikeleather's RBI single. Hampton mishandled Austin Pope's squeeze bunt and Austin Fowler crossed the plate to give the Trojans their first lead at 3-2.
Hampton bounced back to strikeout Austin Raynor to end the inning and strand Strikeleather at second base.
Facing South Johnston starting pitcher Lane Johnson for the fifth time since last season, the Golden Falcons refused to go quietly in the seventh.
Hank Smitherman reached on an error to start the comeback and Joyner followed with a sacrifice bunt. Hampton delivered a game-tying RBI single and West and Jacob Naughton each drew two-out walks.
After falling behind 0-2 to Johnson, Tim Naughton worked the count back to 2-2 before hitting a ground ball that the Trojans bobbled, which allowed Hampton to score the game-winning run.
"As long as you hit the ball on the ground, at least you give yourself a chance," Davis said. "Hank's first two at-bats were not very good at all and he goes up there in the seventh inning and puts the ball in play. Joyner gets his bunt down and Bobby got a big hit to tie it up and then Tim got a pitch he could put in play.
"That's high school baseball, it happens all the time."
Aycock visits Cleveland on Tuesday.
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