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Knights snap skid with 5-4 win over Bulldogs

Posted: April 4, 2018 11:40 a.m.
Updated: April 6, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I

NC HEAD COACH Brandon Faulkenberry led the Knights to a one-run win over rival Camden on Tuesday night at American Legion Park.

It had been 19 days between wins for the North Central baseball team. Day 20, however, was oh-so-sweet.

Rallying from a 3-0 deficit, the Knights scored twice in the fifth, added three more runs in the sixth and then, fended off a Camden comeback bid in the seventh to come away with a 5-4 victory over the tourney hosts in Tuesday’s second day of the Kershaw-Richland Wooden Bat Tournament at American Legion Park in Camden.

The one-run victory snapped an eight-game skid for Brandon Faulkenberry’s squad which improved to 3-10. The loss dropped Camden to 5-11.

In a contest which started late, due to a nine-inning junior varsity contest earlier in the day, and ended close to 11 p.m., it was worth the wait for NC which called up players from its junior varsity squad to fill the roster.

For the first three innings, NC starter Austin Bowers and his CHS counterpart, Campbell Jordan, took their turns working into and out of trouble while coming away unscathed. In the first, a Knight was thrown out at the plate trying to score from third on a double-steal. NC left runners in scoring position the first three frames.

Camden, meanwhile, left men on second in both the first and third innings before denting the scoreboard three times in the top of the fourth.

Sam Ferguson led off the rally with a single to right before Bennett Caldwell reached on an error before the CHS catcher was replaced by courtesy runner Jacob Jordan. Andrew Leaird then rapped an RBI single to left to bring in Ferguson. A Jake Tanner fly out advanced Jordan to third for Robert Spring, whose sacrifice fly to right plated Jordan. An error on a Matthew Cassidy ground ball allowed Leaird to come in with the third run.

NC got to Campbell Jordan for a pair of unearned runs in the home half of the fifth which opened with Bowers reaching on an error. Cam Holley then singled to move Bowers to third. Holley then stole second as the Knights had runners on second and third with no outs. A Wesley Roberts ground out brought in Bowers while Holley came across with the second run on Chance Mangum’s sacrifice fly to center.

The Knights took the lead an inning later by pushing across three runs in the sixth.

Christian Bowers got aboard with a one-out fielders’ choice before Cody Faulkenberry was hit by a pitch. A walk to Tyler Faulkenberry loaded the bases and ended Jordan’s mound stint. Christian Bowers scored the tying run on a wild pitch before Austin Bowers delivered a run-scoring single to center to plate Cody Faulkenberry with the go-ahead run. With Tyler Faulkenberry on third, still with one out, Holley laid down a bunt which was played into an error allowing Tyler Faulkenberry to score the fifth NC run as the hosts took a 5-3 lead into the top of the seventh.

Camden made it interesting with McKenzie Barrineau getting on base with a fielders’ choice. Pinch-runner Campbell Jordan then stole second before Tate Abbott drew a one-out walk. Ferguson followed by lining a single to right to drive in Jordan to make it 5-4. But Abbott was gunned down trying to take third on relay throw from Cody Faulkenberry who threw to first baseman Chance Mangum, who delivered a strike to Dalton Truesdale covering the bag. With Austin Bowers sitting at 99 pitches, Brandon Faulkenberry called on Tyler Faulkenberry to get the final out, which he did on a fly ball to center to garner the one-pitch save.

Bowers went 6.2 innings to get the win on a night in which he scattered five hits while fanning two and walking a batter. He worked his way around five errors behind him. 

Jordan went 5.1 innings for Camden, throwing 109 pitches while giving up four hits to go along with four strikeouts and six walks.

Truesdale and Ferguson had two hits each to lead the Knights and Dogs, respectively.

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