Whisenhunt dazzles on mound for JV baseball

Published 9:24 am Thursday, April 21, 2016

After losing five in a row, Davie’s junior varsity baseball team needed a boost.

Carson Whisenhunt provided just that. The freshman southpaw was a sight for sore eyes when Davie hosted Lake Norman on April 13, dazzling in a complete game and steering the War Eagles to a 4-2 victory.

He walked one and struck out 10 in a six-hitter.

“He threw a first-pitch strike to every hitter but two,” varsity coach Bobby Byerly said. “You talk about a gem. He threw one. He shoved it. I’m going to tell you, that kid has a lot of potential. He absolutely shoved it.”

Guy Brunelli (2-3) had two of Davie’s six hits. Hite Merrifield went 1 for 3 with two RBIs as Davie, which had lost seven of eight, won for the first time since March 22. Clay Summers (1-2), Evan Marshall (1-2) and Cody Hendrix (1-3) also had hits.

Whisenhunt was a tough act to follow, but Matthew McKnight came through with a complete-game shutout as Davie burned visiting South Stokes 10-0 in five innings on April 14.

“He’s coming off the flu, so he didn’t have the velocity that he usually does,” Byerly said after the JV evened its overall record at 8-8. “But when you stay around the plate and throw strikes, good things are going to happen for you.”

Ben Summers, Hendrix and Merrifield rapped two hits each as Davie put up the most runs in 10 games (it beat Reagan 12-3 on March 15). Jesse Draughn, C. Summers, Cody Smith, Hunter Bowles and Landon Bandy contributed to Davie’s 11-hit attack.

Everything was hunky dory when Davie held a 2-0 lead through five and a half innings at Alexander Central on April 16. But in the bottom of the fifth, Central erupted for six runs and went on to beat Davie 6-2.


“We didn’t execute on a bunt, and that wound up costing us two runs,” coach Tim McKnight said. “It changed the complexion of the inning.”

Grayson Keaton, another freshman lefty, made the first four innings look as easy as shaking hands. He had a one-hitter through four, including a nine-up, nine-down stretch from the second through the fourth.

But the Cougars solved him in the fifth, opening the inning with back-to-back singles. Botching a bunt didn’t help, as a bad throw set Central up for an explosion. Central scored six runs on five hits, a walk and an error.

“Location is key for Keaton and he started getting it up a little bit,” McKnight said.

Jesse Draughn retired Central in order in the sixth, although it was too little too late. “He really looked good in the sixth,” McKnight said.

C. Summers (3-4) and Draughn (2-4) led Davie to 11 hits. Smith, Brunelli, B. Summers, Merrifield, Jacob Byrd and Matthew Glass added hits.

“We had a lot of hits (11),” McKnight said. “It was one of our better games (at the plate), but we couldn’t string a lot together.”

C. Summers, a freshman, “has probably been our hottest hitter the last five games,” he said. “His on-base percentage has been unreal.”