Two nights after Camden scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Wilson Hall, 8-7, the Barons returned the favor by handing visiting CHS a 4-2 loss on Thursday night in Sumter.
The loss gave Denny Beckley’s troops a 1-1 record in the regular season.
On a night in which each team collected just three hits, Camden allowed three unearned runs to spoil a solid start from sophomore right-hander Devin Beckley, who was replaced on the mound by juniors Will Abbott and Drew David, who worked an inning each.
"Our pitching has not been a problem so far this year," said Denny Beckley whose team dropped three games in the Pee Dee Preseason Invitational. "Our pitching staff is only giving up about three or four hits a game, right now."
While the Bulldogs’ arms are giving the team a chance to stay in or, win games, the offense has been a concern. On Tuesday, three Wilson Hall pitchers combined to strike out a dozen Bulldogs. In the back end of the two-game series, the defending SCISAA champions trotted out Chase Belk. The Furman signee fanned 11 batters and gave up two unearned runs in the top of the third.
"We have faced some really good pitching," Beckley said before focusing on Belk’s complete game performance.
"(Belk) throws about 86 to 87 (miles per hour) with a really good slider. We didn’t help ourselves against him by being too aggressive in swinging at pitches out of the strike zone and then, taking sliders that were strikes.
"You have to tip your hat to him because he’s a good pitcher. But if we are going to be the team that we think we can be this season, we have to put the ball in play."
The Barons scored an earned run in the second to take a 1-0 lead which Camden erased with a two-spot in the third.
The Dogs’ received a leadoff single off the bat of Tyler Jordan to open the third frame. After stealing second, Jordan moved to third when Cole Irick beat out a bunt with Jordan scoring on the play thanks to a throwing error in the attempt to get Irick at first. After stealing second, Irick gave the Dogs a 2-1 lead when he came home after an error while he was involved in a rundown.
The hosts answered that by scoring two unearned runs in the home half of the third before tacking on another unearned run in the fifth.
Irick led the CHS offense with two hits in four at-bats in a game which took two minutes and 40 seconds to complete.
Beckley said his team’s problems at the plate are two-fold. First, said the CHS boss, the Dogs have run up against good pitching, thus far. On the other hand, though, he said his batters need to do a better job with their approach at the plate.
"Our problems at the plate have been with our pitch selection and our balance," he said. "We are too aggressive and are swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. And our weight distribution is off; we are swinging off our front foot too much. When you swing at bad pitches and are off-balance, you don’t get good results."
Pitching-wise, Devin Beckley got the start for the Dogs and threw four innings of one-hit ball with four strikeouts. Only one of his runs was earned. Abbott came on to work a hitless fifth inning while David threw a scoreless sixth frame.
A.C. Flora game update:
A.C. Flora game update:Due to Friday’s inclement weather, the Bulldogs’ scheduled game with visiting A.C. Flora has been pushed back. The make-up date will be Tuesday, April 7 at American Legion Park in Camden at 6:30 p.m.