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NC takes third in 4-AA Dogs fall twice, L-E keeps streaking

Baseball Roundup

Posted: April 20, 2017 11:43 a.m.
Updated: April 21, 2017 1:00 a.m.

A slow start gave way to a big finish for North Central which used Tyler Faulkenberry’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to lift the hosts to a 9-8 win over Chesterfield on Tuesday night in Boonetown.

The victory gave Robbie Cash’s squad a 7-4 record in Region 4-AA heading into tonight’s regular season finale against visiting Central at 6:30 p.m. The win also cemented NC into third-place in conference play.

In a night of firsts for a Cash-coached Knight squad, NC collected 18 hits with all nine batters having at least one led by junior first baseman Chance Mangum’s career-best four-hit game. In the fifth inning alone, the Knights had eight hits.

On top of that, NC had to dig itself from a 7-0 hole after the Rams scored five runs in the first and added solo runs in the third and fifth frames.

“This was one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of,” Cash said. “It was fun coaching baseball in this game.”

Cash said he did not see a slow start coming from his team in their first game back after last week’s Kershaw-Richland Wooden Bat Tournament.

“We had a good week in the spring break tournament, we had a good practice on Monday and we look good in warmups before this game,” he said. “Then, we got down, 5-0, right off the bat. I asked our players, ‘Guys, what’s going on here?’”

Asking his team to scratch their way back into the game, Cash saw the Knights collect eight hits in a five-run bottom of the fifth. The inning started with consecutive singles from Cam Holley, Chase Stephens and Mangum. An error on a Faulkenberry grounder plated Holley before Stephens scored on a Kevin Smith single.

The hit parade continued with RBI singles from Wesley Roberts and Jeremiah Jenkins while Dalton Truesdale’s fielders’ choice drove in Smith with the third run. Roberts made it 7-5 when he scored on a Keaton Gardner single to right.

NC sent the game into extra innings by scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh, which came after Faulkenberry threw nine pitches in a perfect top of the seventh.

Truesdale got things going with a one-out single to left. With two gone, Holley was hit by a pitch. A Stephens single plated Truesdale while Mangum drove in Holley with a base hit to even things at seven.

The Knights answered a CHS run in the eighth with one of its own as Faulkenberry walked and would then score from first on a three-base throwing error following a strikeout to even things at 8-8.

After Faulkenberry, who worked the final four frames and allowed a run with four strikeouts, needed eight pitches to retire the  Knights in the ninth, Gardner led off the home half of the inning with a single to left to bring Holley to the plate but not before a conversation with Cash.

“It’s not often that I ask a .450 hitter to lay down a bunt but I told Cam that I knew he could lay one on the first base side and beat it out because he was quicker than their pitcher,” Cash said.

Holley then laid down a perfect bunt to advance Gardner, who scored when Faulkenerry won his own game by lining a single to left field.

“Tyler came up huge for us in clutch situations at the plate and on the mound,” Cash said of Faulkenberry. “And what more can you say about Chance Mangum who came up big all night with four hits.”

In addition to Mangum, Stephens had a three-hit night while Holley, Jenkins, Truesdale and Gardner had two each.

“You have to thank (Camden head coach) Denny Beckley for having a wood bat tournament last week. That helped us in this game,” Cash said. “After swinging those heavy wooden bats, these (ceramic) bats seemed a lot lighter and we hit the ball better.“

On Wednesday, Camden Military Academy spoiled Senior Knight in Boonetown in handing the hosts a 3-2 loss.

Mason Van Loan drove in the winning run for the Spartans with a double in the top of the seventh.

Jake Rathbun drilled a solo home run for the guests in the second while Jenkins drove in both NC runs with a two-run single in the fifth.

 

Dogs drop back-to-back contests: Just when it looked like Camden’s hitting woes might be behind them, up came road games with Chapin and Indian Land.

The Bulldogs, who collected a season-best 17 hits in last Thursday’s 13-10 win over Dreher, had six combined in their back-to-back losses this week which kicked off with a 4-1 non-region defeat at the hands of Chapin before being held to a pair of singles in a 3-1 Region 4-AAA setback at Indian Land on Tuesday.

The Indian Land loss gave the Bulldogs a 6-1 conference mark while IL improved to 5-2 in league play. CHS, top seed, needed a win over Columbia on Thursday to  assure it does not have to share the conference crown.

On Tuesday, the host Warriors got to CHS ace Devin Beckley for a run in the bottom of the fifth as they used two walks and a base hit to break a scoreless tie.

The Dogs evened things with one in the sixth as Beckley was hit by a pitch before being sacrificed to second by a William Cobb bunt. Beckley came home on an error on a ball hit by Tyler Maxwell.

The hosts scored twice in their half of the sixth as they picked up three one-out walks with a single mixed in, along with a ground ball out to push across two more runs. Camden went down in order in the seventh.

Beckley went all six innings on the mound for Camden, allowing two hits with four strikeouts and six walks. Cobb and Brady White had singles in the loss.

In Chapin on Monday, the Eagles scored solo runs in the first and second to take a 2-0 lead before Camden scored in the third when Lindsay Pierce drew a one-out walk and moved to third on a Nick Butler single to left center. Pierce scored on an error on the play.

Chapin closed the scoring with a pair in the fourth off Camden starter Holden Bunch, who worked the first five frames and allowed seven hits with a strikeout and five walks. Parker David came on to work a perfect seventh inning.

The Dogs had four hits on the night with Maxwell having two singles while Butler and White had a base hit each.

 

Demons extend win streak to 10 straight: Chase Roberts went five innings and allowed five hits while striking out five to get the win as Lugoff-Elgin closed out non-league play with a 6-2 victory over Chapin on Wednesday.

The win was the 10th in a row for Randy Stokes and company while Roberts, a junior lefty and Clemson commitment, improved to 5-0 on the mound.

The Demons scored three in the first to grab a quick lead as Hunter Coleman drew a leadoff walk before Noah Rabon doubled to left. Coleman came in on an error on a Bradwin Salmond grounder before both Rabon and Salmond scored on Zac Branham’s two-run double along the left field line.

Leading, 3-2, the Demons scored a run in the fourth as Coleman singled and then scored on a Roberts infield single.

L-E added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth as Roberts rapped a leadoff single followed by a Branham walk. The pair adavanced on a wild pitch and both scored on Galloway’s two-run single to left.

Salmond worked the final two frames in relief, allowing a hit with two strikeouts.

Rabon, Roberts and Branham each had two-hit nights for the winners who host Crestwood at 5:30 p.m. tonight.

 

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