Clutch hitters come through for North Davie
Published 9:15 am Thursday, March 17, 2022
North Dave’s baseball team played two hard-fought battles last week. The Wildcats came away with their unbeaten record intact.
At High Point Christian on March 8, four pitchers combined for a 3-hitter and Ty Sain delivered a 2-run hit in the top of the eighth as North prevailed 2-0 in extra innings.
Josh Whitaker (5 innings, 2 hits), Ian Patton (1.1 innings), Jacob Morgan (2/3) and Brady Marshall (1 inning) took turns on the mound. Morgan picked up the win and Marshall got the save.
“This was a well-played game for both teams,” coach Trevor Gooch said. “Both starting pitchers pitched well. Josh had command of his pitches and kept us in the game.”
The arms got help from shortstop Hayden Potts, second baseman Nathan Nuckols and left fielder Bracken Byington.
“Our defense was solid,” Gooch said. “I kept telling our guys: ‘Don’t be the first team to blink.’”
Using the international tiebreaker rule, Potts started the top of the eighth on second base. Tanner Steinour legged out an infield hit, and both runners advanced on Nathan Nuckols’ groundout. After the Cougars intentionally walked slugger Marshall to load the bases, Sain came through with his heroic hit.
ND 4, Watauga 4
In the bottom of the seventh against Watauga on March 11, North avoided defeat with a dramatic rally. The game, which was held at South Davie and ended in a tie, was called after seven innings because of darkness.
“We had two chances with the bases loaded and failed to take the lead,” Gooch said. But North (2-0-1) will happily take the tie after facing a 4-1 deficit going into its last at-bat. Blake French’s two-run hit erased a 4-2 deficit.
Marshall and Potts had one hit each.
Although Watauga managed 3 runs off Marshall, all 10 of his outs in 3.1 innings were strikeouts. Brice Wilson followed with 1.2 scoreless innings, and Morgan only allowed one hit in two innings. Gooch said the defensive standout was Steinour at catcher.