McBride, Shutt lift JVs

Published 10:46 am Thursday, April 21, 2022

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

After Davie’s JV baseball team dropped three straight last week, pitcher Craig McBride and hitter Hunter Shutt provided a lifeline. The former struck out nine in five innings, and the latter knocked in both runs in a 2-0 win over Bandys.

ED 6, Davie 1

The busy week – four games in five days – did not start well. Davie only managed five hits, made two errors and lost decisively to visiting East Davidson on April 12.

“They hit the ball well and they’re pretty solid in the field,” Davie varsity coach Joey Anderson said of the Golden Eagles.

The outcome overshadowed Hunter Daywalt’s continued excellence out of the bullpen. He did not allow a run in 2.2 innings, meaning he hasn’t given up an earned run in his last six outings, or 13 innings. The streak started March 19.

Davie’s hits came from McBride (1-3, RBI), Dane Porter (1-3, double), Larson Stem (1-2, walk), Will Wands (1-3) and Shutt (1-2).

East shook off four errors by collecting 11 hits.

ED 9, Davie 3

The rematch the next day in Thomasville did not get any better for the War Eagles, who were outhit and compounded that by committing four errors.

Again, the bright spot was relief pitching. Even though Eli Webber saw his first mound action in 19 days, he was sharp. He gave up one run (unearned) in 5.1 innings and limited East Davidson to four hits.

In fact, Webber has a 0.00 ERA in three appearances, following three- and one-inning stints on March 11 and March 25, respectively.

“Eli has shown that he can give us some quality innings,” Anderson said. “It was good to see another guy get innings and show us kind of what he’s made of.”

East all but ended the game in the bottom of the first, scoring eight runs. Davie did not scratch until the seventh. East pounded out 11 hits and played perfect defense.

Bentley Moody was Davie’s offensive standout at 2 for 3 with a double. Davie got one hit from McBride (1-3, walk, two steals), Parker Davis (1-2, RBI), Porter (1-4, double), Chris Barringer (1-1, double) and Gray Collins (1-1, walk).

EL 10, Davie 6

Moody came through with a game-tying hit in the fourth, but his clutch swing was ultimately tarnished as Davie lost at East Lincoln in a four-team tournament on April 16.

The game was stopped after six innings by a two-hour time limit.

The War Eagles trailed 6-3 going into the top of the fourth. Three hits later, it was tied. Kason Stewart walked, Hunter Potts singled and Daywalt singled as a pinch-hitter to load the bases. Carson Queen’s sac fly set the stage for Moody, who tied it with a two-out, two-run double.

“Bentley’s been swinging the bat good,” Anderson said. “The impressive part about that hit is (East Lincoln’s pitcher) was throwing pretty good. Bentley’s been working real hard in practice, and I’ve seen him working at the field on weekends. He’s working hard at being able to use the backside – staying back and trusting his swing. Yeah, that was a big hit, and he had a big triple earlier in the game. Both of those hits were exactly what we needed at that point in time.”

The Mustangs put Davie away in the fifth. It went from 6-6 to 9-6 before Davie could get an out.

Davie finished with eight hits, including 2-for-3s from Moody and Potts. McBride (1-4, two steals), Queen (1-3), Stem (1-3, two RBIs) and Daywalt (1-1) had one each. MJ Jacobs walked twice.

Davie allowed 10 hits, made the only two errors of the game and watched its losing streak reach a season-worst three.

Davie 2, Bandys 0

In a consolation game at E. Lincoln, the tonic for ailing Davie was the McBride/Shutt combination.

McBride was unfazed by seeing his first mound action in 22 days, pitching a four-hitter over five innings and offsetting three walks with nine strikeouts.

He was cool under pressure, stranding base runners in four of his five innings. He worked around two walks in the first. He stranded two more in the second and the third. After retiring the side in order in the fourth, he overcame two hits in the fifth.

McBride’s ERA across four outings and 17.2 innings is a sparkling 1.18.

“He gave us a heart attack,” Anderson said with a laugh as Davie improved to 9-7. “He got into a lot of 3-2 counts and that’s why his pitch count ran up (to 99). He was getting ahead 0-2 and then trying to nibble instead of going after them. But he hasn’t had the chance to pitch a lot, so I figured it was time he got a shot. With him being a sophomore, he’s going to have to come up to varsity next year. It was a good way to see what he was going to do, how he was going to react and how he was going to throw against some of the better hitters out there.”

Bandys pitcher Easton Ledford posted zeroes in five of his six innings. The exception was the fourth, when Shutt rose to the occasion.

Daywalt walked and Moody singled. Both moved up on Stem’s bunt and both scored on Shutt’s single. That proved to be Davie’s third and final hit of the game as Ledford retired eight of the last nine. But that was all McBride and reliever Connor Berg needed.

“We really weren’t figuring (Ledford) out,” Anderson said. “He had a pretty good curveball. Shutt was in the mindset of swinging the bat early and seeing what happens. The kid left one up and Shutt waited on it and hit to the backside.”

Berg earned the save in his first relief appearance after making six starts. He struck out two after issuing a one-out walk in the sixth, and he induced a flyout to left fielder Webber with two on and two outs in the seventh.

Webber (1-3), Moody (1-3) and Shutt (1-2) had Davie’s hits.