ECC baseball sweep -- Aycock wins regular-season, tournament titles
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 8, 2013 1:46 PM
PIKEVILLE -- A year ago Charles B. Aycock, backed into the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A baseball playoffs and made an improbable run to the state finals.
This season, the Golden Falcons get to carry a bit of momentum along for the ride.
Aycock bounced back after squandering some early scoring chances in a 6-2 victory over Triton on Tuesday evening in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference tournament finals. The Golden Falcons begin postseason play home Friday against an undetermined opponent.
"I told our kids at 6 a.m. (Wednesday morning everybody's record is 0-0," Aycock head coach Charles Davis said. "We were a prime example of what could happen last year. They understand it is going to take a team effort and they do understand that one game now and it could be over with."
Adam Pate's three-run home run to left field gave the Golden Falcons a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Triton threatened in the top of the second inning with the bases loaded and one out. Aycock starting pitcher Bobby Hampton recorded back-to-back strikeouts to work out of trouble.
Hampton didn't allow a hit until Austin Lee's two-run homer in the top of the third inning pulled Triton to within 3-2. Hampton surrendered one run on a hit with five strikeouts and a walk in 22/3 innings of work to earn the win. Three hurlers combined for 31/3 innings of scoreless relief.
The Golden Falcons (18-6 overall) squandered a pivotal scoring opportunity in the home half of the third inning. Aycock loaded the bases with no outs before Hawks' starting pitcher Matthew Webb struck out three consecutive strikeouts to end the inning.
"We've just got to do better with runners in scoring position," Davis said. "We've got to grind out at-bats in certain situations. I didn't think we did a good job of that early in the game, later in the game we did. I just think it is a product of really not wanting to grind out at-bats."
Triton (18-8) wasted a chance of its own in the top of the fourth inning when it left the bases loaded.
Hampton's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning increased the Golden Falcons' lead to 4-2. Pate followed with an RBI double.
Greg Johnson supplied an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend Aycock's advantage to 6-2.
"Bobby got a hit there with two outs and we were able to score two runs with two outs" Davis said. "That was key in that situation. We haven't played a lot over the last couple of weeks. When you play two or three days in a row the pitching that you see I think makes you a better hitter."
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