BASEBALL -- So. Wayne @ C.B. Aycock
By Ben Coley
Published in Sports on March 18, 2017 11:25 PM
PIKEVILLE -- C.B. Aycock's Blake Gipson could only muster a blank, disagreeable stare.
Southern Wayne's Derek Holsinger had just snuck a pitch by him. As the umpire gave his signal for the strikeout, the Saints' crowd erupted.
The punch-out sealed a 4-1 win for Southern Wayne -- its first victory over the Golden Falcons since 2012. It was the Saints fifth straight win after starting the season 0-2.
"I just feel like their level of competing went up," said Southern Wayne head coach Trae McKee. "I think that their hunger and their desire to start games well and finish games well (has risen)."
That desire began with Manny Walker's at-bat in the second inning. The senior roped a double and immediately scored on Matthew Stott's RBI double. Stott later scored to give the Saints a 2-0 advantage.
CBA countered with one run in the bottom of the fourth inning. However, Southern Wayne responded in the form of an Aryc Chrisman RBI single in the fifth inning.
The Golden Falcons' Cody Whaley entered the game allowing just one run in 10 innings pitched. The junior gave up three runs to the Saints and lasted just 42/3 innings.
"(We) capitalized on some pitches that we got to hit hard," McKee said. "Not trying to do too much with the baseball when we did get those pitches...trying to take what (Whaley) gives you, and put a good swing on it."
Meanwhile, Saints' ace Jack Casbarro repeatedly silenced the Golden Falcons' bats. The senior allowed just two hits and struck out five batters in 62/3 inning of work, leaving Holsinger to record the final strikeout.
CBA began the year averaging 7.8 runs through its first four games. Though recently, the offense has gone cold. CBA was coming off a 7-0 loss to Hunt in which it only managed one hit.
"Once you go through a slump like this, (the players) start pressing a little bit," said Golden Falcons' skipper Charles Davis. "It's a matter of just relaxing and getting back to the things we do best."
Chrisman, Stott, Casbarro, Walker, Anderson and Holsinger each registered one hit for Southern Wayne. CBA's Nick Aycock and Blake Gipson had one hit apiece.
This is Southern Wayne's best start to a season since 2013. McKee believes his team now has confidence and a winner's mentality. And that means knowing how to respond when adversity strikes.
"We've made some mistakes, and we've overcome some mistakes," McKee said. "So knowing that one error or that one mistake or one bad pitch is not going to put us down for the rest of the game and that we can come back from that."
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