Varsity baseball falls, but team remains in second

Published 12:52 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Weird things happen in sports.

In his first six starts of the season, Braeden Rodgers of Davie’s varsity baseball team had been nothing short of breathtaking. After a complete game against West Forsyth on April 13, the senior lefthander was 5-0 with an 0.84 ERA. He had allowed six runs (four earned) in 33 innings. He wasn’t beating chumps; he threw gems against East Forsyth (5-1 win), Reagan (2-1) and West Forsyth (12-2). That’s East’s lone loss in 21 games.

But like we said, weird things happen in sports. Rodgers didn’t have his stuff in a home nonconference game against Oak Grove on April 19, and Davie suffered a 9-2 thrashing to a team that came in with a 7-9 record. Go figure.

“It was just one of those situations where it didn’t work out for him,” coach Joey Anderson said after Rodgers failed to get an out and left after six batters and 29 pitches. “He just couldn’t get his command. No matter what he was trying to do … he was trying to fix it. Him and (assistant coach Joey) Cress were talking. Joey went out there and talked to him a couple of times. He’s been lights out all year. He was pretty upset about giving up (six runs), but it happens. You just have to take your lumps and hope it doesn’t affect us down the road.”

Despite their modest record, the Grizzlies don’t lack talent. They have logged wins over West Forsyth (5-1) and North Davidson (4-1), two teams that have defeated Davie.

It was 7-0 in the top of the first before the War Eagles knew what hit them. A single was followed by two walks. A hit batter was followed by two more walks. After Anderson went to his bullpen, reliever Connor Berg was greeted with a double. The eight-hole batter made the first out of the game. A single and a walk followed as Oak Grove erupted for seven.

That was your ballgame on a night when Davie only came up with five hits, all singles. Oak Grove’s pitcher, junior righty Cale Walters, hurled six innings. His stuff was hardly electric – he walked four and only struck out two – but it was effective.

Parker Simmons went 2 for 4. The guys with one hit were Coy James (1-3, walk), Drew Krause (1-2, walk) and Ty Miller (1-1, two steals).

“(Walters) wasn’t anything special,” Anderson said. “He pretty much just threw fastballs and we hit balls right at them. He wasn’t throwing fast. He was just throwing the ball over (the plate), and sometimes he was effectively wild. I think we were pressing a bit, trying to make things happen quicker than we needed to. And we ran ourselves out of one inning.”

Berg did a good job in his seventh relief stint. He scattered six hits in four innings, walked one and struck out five. Brady Marshall was solid over the last three innings. The one run off him was unearned.

Notes: The Oak Grove game was reminiscent of a 10-0 nonconference loss to Mooresville, which exploded for eight runs in the top of the first. … Davie (12-7 overall) belted lowly Parkland 17-0 and 16-1 last week, the games totalling five and a half innings. James, Jackson Sink and Aubrey Heath slammed homers at Parkland on April 18, and Jaydon Holder legged out an inside-the-park homer at Davie on April 21. … With one week left in the regular season, the War Eagles are still clinging to second in the crowded CPC standings. Entering the week, East Forsyth was 11-1, Davie 9-3 and Reagan and West Forsyth tied for third at 8-4. Glenn and Reynolds are tied for fifth at 6-6. Mt. Tabor and Parkland are both 0-12. … The Mustangs fell to 0-14. They’ve lost every game by 15-plus runs.