DUDLEY — The Charles B. Aycock Golden Falcons defeated the Southern Wayne Saints 4-0 on Tuesday night to win their fourth game in a row and improve to 6-1 in Quad County 3A Conference play.
After starting off the season 1-4, the Golden Falcons were clicking on all cylinders heading into Tuesday night, winning four of their last five games since their rough start.
On the other hand, Southern Wayne started off the season 9-1 but dropped a conference game against West Johnston on March 31.
With so much at stake for the county rivals, Southern Wayne’s starting pitcher Drew Sweet and C.B. Aycock’s starting pitcher Andrew Matthews brought their best to the mound.
After one and a half innings of lights-out pitching, the first real scoring opportunity came for the Saints in the bottom of the second inning when Brayden McKee and Hayden Waller earned back-to-back walks to load the bases with two outs.
Alex Ferrell, who came up to bat for the Saints in the bases-loaded situation, could only hit a short blooper into the outfield, and the score remained 0-0.
The game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth inning when the Saints shot themselves in the foot by giving the Golden Falcons two free bases.
The first free base the Saints awarded came during the first at-bat of the inning when C.B. Aycock’s Jayce Poole hit a groundball toward Southern Wayne shortstop Cuyler Daly.
Daly fielded the ball cleanly but overthrew the first baseman to give Poole a free base.
The next batter up to the plate for the Golden Falcons was Isaac Cora, who also earned a free trip to first base when Sweet hit him with a pitch.
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After a sacrifice bunt from Zackery Heath advanced both runners, Landon Bridgers knocked in the game’s first run with a sacrifice bunt to score Poole.
Bridgers’ sacrifice bunt advanced Cora to third base on the same play, and during the next at-bat, he came home to score on a wild pitch.
Later in the inning, with a runner on first base, Cameron Aycock made it a 3-0 ballgame when he hit a ball down the first base line, which he turned into a triple with his amazing speed.
Aycock came home to score during the next at-bat thanks to a wild pitch that gave C.B. Aycock a 4-0 lead.
The fifth inning ultimately proved to be the deciding inning, and the Golden Falcons held on to win 4-0.
Aycock, who leads the team with a .414 batting average, said the Golden Falcons’ success in recent weeks comes down to an increased focus in practice.
“We’ve been focused … and really locking in during practice and just doing the little things right,” Aycock said. “It’s transferred over to the game, and it’s helped us a lot.”
With the win, C.B. Aycock improved to 6-5 overall and 6-1 in conference play, while Southern Wayne fell to 9-3 overall and 4-3 in conference play.
The Saints and Golden Falcons will face off again tonight in Pikeville at 7 p.m.