Davie baseball bounces back as Bliss tosses gem

Published 1:24 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2024

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

West Forsyth started capitalizing on the home team’s errors in the second inning and Davie’s baseball team fell hard, 10-0, in the Central Piedmont Conference opener on March 5.

Only time will tell, but maybe we can chalk it up to just one of those days – like what we saw more than once in 2023. Last year East Forsyth ripped the War Eagles 13-0, but Davie would win the next three meetings, including a 5-1 decision two days after the 13-0 nightmare. And then there were the regular-season meetings with West. Davie fell short 4-2; two days later, the War Eagles strutted past the Titans 12-2.

The 10-0 loss in the second game of 2024 was dreadful mostly because of West’s senior righty, Jack Vest, who pitched a two-hitter for six innings (it was a mercy-rule result). Davie had more than double the errors (five) over hits.

Cleanup man Kason Stewart offered a bright spot, going 2 for 2 and rising to 4-5 on the season. Braeden Rodgers wasn’t nearly as bad as the score suggests, the ace pitcher allowing one earned run in four innings.

“The score definitely would not have been that if we’d made the defensive plays,” coach Joey Anderson said. “It could have been 1-0 in the fifth instead of 5-0. They took full advantage of our mistakes.”

Davie 6, North 5

The War Eagles bounced back as well as possible, winning a home nonconference game over respected North Davidson on March 7.

“We played very well,” Anderson said. “We got big hits. It was a lot better to watch than the night before (against West).”

Cooper Bliss got the ball and wasn’t it a beautiful debut as a varsity starter for the senior? He tossed a four-hitter for six innings, gave up one run and struck out seven. The fact he worked 1.2 innings in three relief appearances as a junior made it all the more impressive.

“Cooper pitched an excellent game,” Anderson said. “When they got runners on base, he trusted his defense and kept coming at guys. He made big pitch after big pitch after big pitch after big pitch.”

It was dicier than it should have been. After Bliss’ day was done, North cut into Davie’s 6-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh. A Black Knight turned on a fastball, hit the top of the wall and doubled in three runs. A single made it 6-5, but Davie held on for dear life as the last batter flew out to right fielder Will Wands.

“It kind of gave fans and coaches heartache,” Anderson said. “Sometimes you’ve got to struggle to figure out this is what’s wrong and this is what I’ve got to fix.”

Leadoff Coy James went 2-3 with three runs and two doubles, and No. 2 man Carson Queen went 2-2 with two runs and a triple while reaching base four times. The top six in the order had the nine hits: Bliss (1-3), Stewart (1-4), Drew Krause (1-3) and Hunter Potts (2-3).

One of the hottest bats is Queen (4-8 on the season). James broke loose after a slow start.

“Coy started us off from our first at-bat and we put some runs on the board,” Anderson said. “We spread the hits out throughout the lineup. Hunter squared up a couple good ones, kept his weight back and used the whole field.”