War Eagle baseball drops two of three
Published 8:59 am Thursday, May 5, 2022
By Brian Pitts
Bayden Hazlip turned in another stellar pitching performance at Glenn. Davin Whitaker had a day to remember at High Point Christian. And Coy James did something amazing from March 18-April 28.
Freshmen Ty Goodson and Drew Krause had both RBIs and Hazlip tossed a gem as Davie blanked Glenn 3-0 in Kernersville on April 26.
Although Glenn dropped to 7-15 with its fourth straight loss, a win over the Bobcats is hardly a gimme. A week earlier, they held a 3-2 lead over first-place East Forsyth with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the seventh, only to lose 4-3 on Xavier Isaac’s two-run, walk-off homer.
“The star of the night was Bayden,” coach Joey Anderson said.
Hazlip shoved a three-hitter with zero walks and 10 strikeouts. His fourth complete game lifted his record to 6-3 and lowered his ERA to 2.07. The senior lefty has 55 Ks against just five walks in 47.1 innings.
“He was efficient, especially with first-pitch strikes, and that was the key to the game,” Anderson said. “Even when we had errors, he didn’t let it affect him. He just made a better pitch the next time to get outs.”
It was a 0-0 game for three innings as Davie struggled to gain traction against Glenn hurler Chris Shoemaker, a 5-7, 185-pound sophomore who went the distance for the hosts.
“That kid pitched a good game. He really did,” Anderson said. “He wasn’t throwing hard. He was just keeping everybody offbalance.”
Davie broke through in the fourth after the first two batters were retired. Parker Aderhold singled and advanced on a wild pitch. He scored on Goodson’s opposite-field double, a soft liner over the third baseman’s head that landed near the foul line.
Goodson, who spent a good part of the season on JV, was hitting .400 through 16 at-bats.
“In big situations, he’s been an RBI man,” Anderson said.
Davie scratched out its second run in the fifth. Jackson Sink bunted for a hit. James followed with a hit-and-run single. An error in left field allowed Sink to score on the play.
“Jackson laid down a perfect bunt,” he said. “That was all on him. He saw the third baseman playing back.”
Davie got a little more insurance by playing more small ball in the seventh. After Wesley Mason reached on an error, Parker Simmons extended his hitting streak to six games with a bunt hit. Krause followed with a successful safety squeeze bunt.
James went 2 for 4 as Davie ran its winning streak to six and won for the eighth time in nine games. Meanwhile, Glenn fell to 3-6 in games decided by three runs or less.
HPC 22, Davie 10
The War Eagles produced 12 hits, scored in four of five at-bats and got a spectacular offensive effort from Whitaker in a nonconference game at High Point Christian on April 28. It wasn’t enough on a day when four Davie arms allowed 16 hits, eight walks and uncorked seven wild pitches.
The Cougars, a perennial power in the private school division, improved to 19-8 with its sixth win by 10-plus runs. They handed Davie its first loss since April 6 to West Forsyth.
Whitaker went 3 for 4 with three runs, four RBIs and two homers. He turned in Davie’s first two-homer game in 10 years, or 213 games. (Corey Randall hit two in a 6-1 win at West Forsyth in 2012.)
JT Bumgarner (3-3), James (2-4, two doubles) and Krause (2-2, two RBIs, walk, double) were major contributors in defeat.
James, the immensely talented freshman leadoff man, lifted his average to .424, which at the moment was the highest in 10 years. (Randall hit .506 in 2012.) This extended his hitting streak to 14. And this gave him 11 doubles on the year, the most in 29 years. (Bubba Coleman had 11 in 1993.)
“Being a freshman, not a lot of people know him – but they’re getting to know him quickly,” Anderson said. “Some of (the CPC coaches) know him from years past with travel ball, but some of the things he does … he’s a special athlete.”
Glenn 2, Davie 1
The Bobcats are obviously a pesky little squad. They put up a fight when they lost to Davie in Kernersville, they pushed West Forsyth and East Forsyth to the limit in one-run losses, and they pulled off an upset win at Davie on April 29.
“We left way too many people on base (nine),” said a disappointed Anderson. “Two times we had bases loaded (and did not score). Their pitching wasn’t overpowering, but we were just watching. It was like we were in slow motion.”
The War Eagles took a quick lead, with Aderhold’s single plating Ty Miller in the bottom of the first. But they missed a chance to put Glenn in a significant hole in the third. With James on third, Miller on second and Whitaker on first, an infield popup and a strikeout enabled Glenn to keep the score 1-0.
The Bobcats tied it in the fourth with a two-out single, and they broke the tie by scoring on a two-out passed ball in the fifth.
Davie missed opportunities in the final two innings. In the sixth, Goodson and Simmons had singles and Krause walked to load the bases with two outs. The next batter flew out to right. In the seventh, Miller singled but was caught stealing. Whitaker walked, but the next guy flew out.
James made three long outs to bring his hitting streak to an end.
“He hit balls to the fence (in center field) and they were literally playing on the fence,” Anderson said. “The center fielder was playing on the (warning) track.”
Miller went 2 for 2 with two walks, but no one else had more than one hit for Davie. Three junior pitchers limited Davie to six hits.
“Their left fielder made a diving catch,” Anderson said. “They made some good plays, and we hit a lot of balls hard right at people.”
When two guys combine on a five-hitter with two walks, you can’t have many complaints about your pitching. Jaydon Holder went 4.1 innings, allowing two runs (one earned), and Braeden Rodgers threw 2.2 scoreless innings in his ninth relief appearance.
The loss did not change Davie’s spot in the standings (fourth), but it was a blow to its playoff hopes.
“This puts us on the fence,” he said. “We could go either way. If we get in, we’re going to be one of the lowest seeds.”
Notes: James’ 14-game hitting streak lasted from March 18 through April 28. It’s the third-longest streak this century for Davie. Anthony Azar had an 18-gamer in 2019, and Carson Herndon had a 17-gamer in 2011. … Davie (11-10) fell to 3-6 in games decided by one or two runs. … Glenn ended an eight-game losing streak to Davie. … James (.402), Whitaker (.348) and Simmons (.320) have Davie’s top averages. … The final CPC standings: East Forsyth/Reagan 12-2, West Forsyth 11-3, Davie 8-6, Glenn 5-9, Mt. Tabor 4-10, Reynolds 3-11, Parkland 1-13. … The CPC Tournament is this week.