War Eagle baseball splits at South Brunswick

Published 1:19 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The games against Reagan were bad in every way possible. Davie’s varsity baseball team failed to get a hit in the first meeting, and it was blown out in the second one.

Now the flip side: The War Eagles played well at the beach during spring break, splitting a pair of close games against good competition.

Reagan 5, Davie 0

Yeah, things were pretty dim against Reagan. In game one in Pfafftown on March 26, Davie was no-hit by senior John Lobs, who walked one and struck out 10. Davie went 0 for 22 against the 6-3 righthander who has signed with Western Carolina.

By contrast, Reagan collected 10 hits and pushed runs across in four of its six at-bats.

Reagan 10, Davie 1

Three days later at home, Reagan continued its 12-1 strut in another all-around dispiriting night for the War Eagles, who managed seven hits but struck out 11 times against two pitchers.

Jacob Smith, a 6-2 sophomore righthander, went six innings without issuing a walk. Senior Mason Middleton finished up as Reagan remained in second place in the Central Piedmont Conference. Offensively, the Raiders tagged two pitchers with 13 hits.

The highlight for Davie was Coy James’ 2-for-4 hitting with a double.

“Reagan played well,” coach Joey Anderson said. “They kept the pressure on us and we really didn’t hit the ball that great in two games.”

Davie got 1-for-3 efforts from Carson Queen, Hunter Potts, Drew Krause, Cooper Bliss and Coston Colamarino.

Davie stumbled to fifth in the CPC. The standings going into April 8: East Forsyth 8-0, Reagan 7-1, West Forsyth 6-2, Glenn 4-3, Davie 4-4, Reynolds 1-6, Mt. Tabor/Parkland 0-7.

Davie 4, South Point 2

Davie traveled 239 miles to compete in the South Brunswick Cougar Classic during spring break. In the first game on April 1, it had an impressive bounce-back, jumping ahead 4-0 and snapping the Red Raiders’ seven-game winning streak.

“It was good to see somebody different,” Anderson said. “I told the guys: ‘We’re going to come down here and we’re not going to worry about what happened (vs. Reagan). We’re just going to be positive, keep plugging and try to get better.’”

Davie was sparked in the bottom of the first by James, who doubled on the game’s second pitch. He scored when Queen’s bunt was thrown away by the pitcher.

In the second, Davie mixed three hits with a hit by pitch and a walk and scored three to take the 4-0 lead.

“We got some big hits from Craig McBride and Potts,” Anderson said.

James, Potts and McBride all went 2 for 3. Going 1-3 were Krause and Colamarino.

Connor Berg, who has pitched superbly as a senior, went 5.2 innings. He held a team that had outscored opponents 66-20 during its winning streak to four hits. He did not yield an earned run, walked one and struck out nine. He picked up his third win and dropped his ERA to 1.97.

“Berg pitched a heckuva game,” Anderson said. “(He came out in the sixth after) a ball was hit right back at him and hit him in the knee.”

Parker Davis, who took the mound in a sticky situation in the sixth, retired the only batter he faced. Then Tucker Hobbs slammed the door with a 1-2-3 seventh.

South had runners at the corners with the score 4-2 when Davis entered the fray.

“They had one of their bigger hitters up, and Parker pounded him in and got him to fly out to (third baseman) Coston in foul territory,” Anderson said. “Then Tucker finished it off really well.”

Davie overcame three errors by outhitting South 8-4.

Ledford 4, Davie 3

The first back-to-back wins of the season against teams with winning records would have been really nice, but Davie could take solace in standing toe-to-toe with an 11-1 team. Ledford barely staved off Davie on April 2.

“It was a good game,” Anderson said after Davie slipped to 7-6. “We were back and forth. We played great defense in both games.”

Both teams had five hits. Both teams made one error.

Another first-inning double by James sent Davie toward a 1-0 lead. James advanced on Queen’s bunt and scored on Potts’ groundout. The Panthers tied it in their half of the first, but Davie went in front 2-1 in the third.

James doubled yet again and stole third, only to get thrown out a home on a grounder to third. “I don’t know,” Anderson said. “It was a close play. It had to be a perfect throw.”

Davie shook that off and put one across when Queen stole second and came around on a double by Potts, who is thriving as a junior.  After batting in the lower half of the order for the first 10 games, he’s spent the past three in the three-hole. His average has climbed to .375.

“We’ve been seeing it for awhile,” Anderson said. “We’ve just been trying to get him locked in hitting-wise. I had him in the five or six hole. We were struggling in the three-hole, so I moved him up and he’s solidified himself. He’s gotten some big hits for us here lately. He’s done a real good job, and it’s not like he’s seeing fastballs every time. So he’s fought off pitches and been swinging the bat real well.”

Cooper Bliss was strong on the hill for four innings, but he ran into trouble in the fifth, when Ledford generated three runs to take a 4-2 lead. The big blow was a two-run, game-tying double by junior Wilmer Martinez, who has committed to Miami. That ended Bliss’ day and Hobbs was greeted by a run-scoring hit.

“Cooper had thrown real well and then he got a little tired,” Anderson said. “He gave up the double to the Miami commit, but it was a good pitch. The kid hit it the opposite way. It was a good swing; they’re a good hitting team, especially 1-5.”

Davie refused to go quietly. Bliss’ sixth-inning sac fly plated Krause and cut the deficit to 4-3.

In the seventh, the speedy McBride walked with one out. Three pitches later, however, he was caught trying to steal second. James walked and then stole second, putting the tying run 180 feet away. But a grounder to third ended the game and extended Ledford’s winning streak to nine.

Davie was that close to potentially forcing extra innings. It was close another time.

“We had quite a few chances and it didn’t happen,” Anderson said. “They made one play that changed the game. We had Coy on and Carson hit one and their center fielder dove and made the catch. We would have scored there.”

James, who went 2 for 2 with two doubles, two steals and two walks against Ledford, is on a familiar tear. He’s 6 for 9 with four doubles and three walks across three games and he’s hitting a team-best .459, or 185 points over the team average. He also leads in runs (17), hits (17), doubles (7) and steals (10).

Potts, Krause and Colamarino all went 1 for 3 against Ledford.

“(South Point and Ledford) were throwing to Coy; they weren’t pitching around him,” Anderson said. “Ledford did kind of pitch around him in his last at-bat and he walked. For the most part, they gave him a chance to swing the bat.”

Krause is thriving as a junior – offensively and behind the plate. He’s hit safely in five of six games to lift his average to .342. Against South Point, he gunned down a would-be base stealer in the first. In the fifth, he nailed a runner tying to steal third. And in the first inning against Ledford, he picked off a runner at third.

“Drew and Coston (at third base) and Kason (Stewart at first) have gotten on the same page about when he’s going to throw,” Anderson said. “It has taken some time; both of them were new to Drew. He had a huge pickoff against Ledford with a guy on third. They had bases loaded and he ended up picking and getting us out of the inning. He’s done that well his whole career, but this year it’s clicking better than ever.”

How about Hobbs out of the bullpen? He got the last five outs without allowing a run against Ledford, marking his third straight appearance in relief. In 7.1 innings, he’s walked two, struck out 11 and put together an eye-catching 0.95 ERA.

“Tucker has great stuff; he’s got starter stuff,” Anderson said. “He’s our long relief guy. He’s figured out how to pace himself in the bullpen and be ready when he needs to be ready. Actually, all our (relievers) are doing a good job of that. Parker has done an excellent job at that, and that’s a hard job to do, especially for a high school player.”

Davie was supposed to play North Davidson in a consolation game on April 3, but it was washed out by torrential rain.