05/11/13 — Cardinals upset ECC champions in opening round

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Cardinals upset ECC champions in opening round

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 11, 2013 11:15 PM

PIKEVILLE -- It was over in an instant.

Charles B. Aycock base runner Hank Smitherman rounded third base and headed for home.

Jacksonville outfielder Logan Staup collected the ball and fired toward the plate. Cardinal catcher Christian Heisey caught the ball and waited for Smitherman to attempt a dive.

Heisey made the tag and ended Jacksonville's 7-6 victory in the opening round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A state baseball playoffs on Friday night.

"Believe it or not, that is the fourth time (Staup) has thrown a runner out this season," Jacksonville head coach David Fleischer said. "What a wild way to end a great high school baseball game."

The fireworks started in the first inning.

Garrett Joyner led off the Golden Falcons' first at-bat with a walk. Bobby Hampton singled and Noah West delivered two runs with a double.

Jacob Naughton singled and Tim Naughton made the score 3-0 with a base hit. Alex Burke capped the rally with a sacrifice fly and gave Aycock a 4-0 advantage.

Jacksonville stormed back with six runs in the top of the second inning. The Cardinals strung together seven consecutive base hits to regain the lead.

"In the playoffs one inning can do you in," C.B. Aycock head coach Charles Davis said. "I knew Jacksonville was going to battle back after we took the lead and they made the most of a big inning."

Jacksonville made it 7-4 win one run in the fifth before C.B. Aycock rallied to close the gap.

Joyner delivered a one-out single in the sixth. Adam Pate singled and West loaded the bases with a base hit. Jacob Naughton plated two runs to make the score 7-6 when he reached on an error.

The Golden Falcons came alive again in the seventh inning.

Smitherman belted a two-out double and Joyner walked. Hampton ripped a single to right field that ended the game when Staup's throw cut down Smitherman in a heap behind home plate.

"I always tell the kids to step up and be accountable," Davis said. "I am accountable for making the last out at home plate. The kid from Jacksonville made a heck of a throw and it was a big play in a big situation."

C.B. Aycock concluded the year 18-7 overall.