PIKEVILLE — The Charles B. Aycock Golden Falcons defeated the West Johnston Wildcats 5-1 on Tuesday night to claim at least a share of the Quad County 3A Conference title.
Coming into Tuesday night’s game, the Golden Falcons needed to win just one of their final two games to capture a share of the conference title.
In one of their biggest games of the season, Carson Gipson took the mound for the Golden Falcons. He made quick work of the Wildcats when he struck out two of the three batters he faced.
In the bottom of the first, Cameron Aycock started off the inning by getting on base with a single. After a strikeout, Aycock proceeded to steal second base, and he advanced to third base off a single from Dalton Smith.
After a strikeout from Austin Booth, Aycock came home off a wild pitch to give the Golden Falcons a 1-0 lead.
After the early score from C.B. Aycock, neither team was able to score another run until the bottom of the fourth inning, when the Golden Falcons extended their lead on a strange play.
The play occurred with one out when D.J. Madrigal, who was on third base, got caught taking too big of a lead from third base after a ground ball was hit by Brandon Godwin.
The West Johnston pitcher Dylan Hoyer smartly realized Madrigal’s mistake and threw it back to the third baseman in an attempt to tag out the lead runner for the second out of the inning.
The third baseman chased Madrigal toward the plate before throwing it over the catcher’s head, which allowed Madrigal to slide safely into home plate.
Gipson, who was on first base, was able to advance to third base on the play, while Godwin advanced to second base.
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On the next at-bat, Austin Dilda hit an RBI-sacrifice fly that allowed Gipson to score and give the Golden Falcons a 3-0 lead.
C.B. Aycock head coach Allen Thomas said that the odd play where Madrigal scored changed the moment of the game and allowed the Golden Falcons’ offense to come alive.
“Yeah, it did (change the moment),” Thomas said. “I don’t know if it relaxed us a little bit, but yeah, it was a crazy play. (It’s) a play we work on all the time in practice, and it ended going in our favor. I’ll just say that.”
The Golden Falcons continued to extend their lead, scoring one run each of the next two innings while only giving up one run to take a 5-1 lead.
In the top of the seventh inning, with two outs and a runner on first, Madrigal closed the game by forcing a ground ball.
The save by Madrigal gave the Golden Falcons at least a share of the conference title.
It’s the first time since 2013 that the Golden Falcons won a conference title, and with one more win, the Golden Falcons will have sole possession of the title.
With the win, C.B. Aycock improved to 16-5 overall and 11-2 in conference play. West Johnston fell to 7-15 overall and 4-9 in conference play.
C.B. Aycock will take on Smithfield-Selma at home tonight at 7 p.m. in the final game of the regular season.