No. 4 pitcher throws No No

Published 9:22 am Thursday, April 21, 2016

What a luxury it is to have a staff where the No. 4 hurler is undefeated with an earned-run average under one.

Junior Tyler Roberts may be the fourth fiddle to seniors Jalen Scott, Isaac Campbell and Nathan Harrell, but he’s not your typical No. 4 man. He’s 3-0 with an 0.79 ERA.

Last week, when Davie rolled up three nonconference wins as it took a break from Central Piedmont Conference play, was a time of validation for Roberts, who threw a no-hitter Saturday at Alexander Central. Oh, and by the way, Roberts is also third on the club in batting average.

“We thought we would need him on the bump a little bit, and obviously he’s done that role superbly,” coach Bobby Byerly said. “He’s played outfield, first and third and he’s been a pleasant surprise. His average is up there near the top.”

Davie 4, LN 2

April 13 was a day to remember for Scott. First, he signed with Winston-Salem State University. Then he sent Davie to a 4-2 home win over Lake Norman with a three-run double.

“He came less than a foot from hitting a grand slam,” Byerly said. “He hit the top of the green monster. Man, wouldn’t that have been poetic justice on his signing day? I’ve never heard one person say one bad word about him – ever. Ever. He always smiles. He’s just a classy kid. Nothing ever rattles him. He never gets upset.”

Davie avenged a 5-4 loss from the season opener on Feb. 29, and it stopped a four-game skid in the series.

All the scoring was done in the second inning. The Wildcats went ahead 2-0 when a two-run hit followed a walk and error. Davie responded with four runs in the bottom half. After Ryan Harrell and Andrew Davidson had singles, Mitchell McGee reached on a swinging bunt. With two outs, Scott delivered his ringing, bases-clearing double. Then Paul Davenport came up with a run-scoring double in the gap.

Although both runs were unearned, Campbell was subpar for 3 2/3 innings. He walked six and uncorked three wild pitches in a no-decision. “Isaac wasn’t on. He struggled,” Byerly said. “It happens sometimes.”

But Nathan Harrell was once again excellent out of the bullpen. He tossed hitless ball for 3 1/3 to pick up the win and keep his ERA at 0.00.

“I think he’s picked up a little velocity (since going 4-0 with a 2.35 ERA last year),” Byerly said. “And he’s throwing a lot smarter. He’s being a pitcher. When his changeup and breaking ball are working, it can be deadly. He threw great again, like he always has up to this point. He’s throwing like a senior.”

Chris Reynolds (2-3) and Scott (2-3) had two hits each as Davie dropped Lake Norman’s overall record to 11-7. Davenport (1-3), N. Harrell (1-3), R. Harrell (1-3), Davidson (1-3) and McGee (1-3) had one each as Davie improved to 5-2 in games decided by two runs or less.

Davie 3, S. Stokes 0

Scott was brilliant on the hill and Roberts delivered the biggest hit as Davie cuffed visiting South Stokes on April 14.

Scott threw a two-hitter with 62 strikes out of 89 pitches. “He pounded the bottom of the zone,” Byerly said. “His changeup comes in like a frisby. It’s nasty.”

Davie got on the board in the second, when Brandon Lankford’s one-out double and R. Harrell’s single set up Beau Byerly’s two-out RBI single to opposite field.

Davie added insurance in the fifth. Byerly reached on an error and advanced on Josh Byrd’s sac bunt. After Reynolds walked, Roberts plated a pair with an opposite-field double down the first-base line.

With N. Harrell sitting out with a minor injury, Byrd got the nod at second base. He took advantage. “He made three or four great plays,” Byerly said. “He was solid as a rock.”

Roberts (2-3) and Lankford (2-3) led the way offensively. Davie got one hit from Reynolds (1-2), R. Harrell (1-3) and Byerly (1-3).

Davie 11, AC 0

Davie posted the most runs in 11 games, although Roberts needed little support in a six-inning no-hit performance that saw him permit five base runners in Saturday’s 11-0 romp at Alexander Central.

“They had one ball hit on the screws to center field. That was it,” Byerly said. “After a walk in the second, he settled in and was lights out. We didn’t even have any tough plays. He’s had a great year. He’s Mr. Utility.”

The Nos. 2-4 batters – Scott (2-5), Davenport (3-4, four RBIs, double, home run) and Colbourne (3-5), along with No. 8 R. Harrell (3-4, double) – enabled Davie to put up the most runs since a 12-2 win over Reynolds on March 8. Davie also got hits from Lankford (1-2, two walks), N. Harrell (1-3, two RBIs) and Byerly (1-2, walk, hpb) as it improved its overall record to 12-3.

Notes: Central marked the War Eagles’ fifth shutout of the season, and they bagged back-to-back shutouts for the second time. … Davenport is hitting a team-best .362 for Davie, which is hitting .286 as a team. N. Harrell (.325), Roberts (.308) and Reynolds (.306) are the others over .300. … Davie’s team ERA is dental-floss thin 1.63. Scott is 4-2 with a 1.44 ERA. N. Harrell and Roberts are both 3-0. Campbell stands at 2-1, 2.51.