Prep Baseball: Eagles advance to CCC tourney title game
East Davidson will play for a Central Carolina Conference tournament title after beating Salisbury 5-0 Tuesday in the first semifinal at West Davidson's Feezor Field.
Though the top-seeded Golden Eagles did not wow anybody with their performance, it was good enough against a Hornet club that has not consistently found the win column this season. East will encounter tournament host West on Thursday in the championship game slated to begin at 7 p.m. The second-seeded Green Dragons eliminated No. 3 seed North Rowan 2-0. EDHS coach Dan Tricarico would like to see his team come out with a little more fire than they had against the Hornets.
“I am not excited about the way we played,” he said. “We were not as sharp and didn't have much intensity about us going into the game. We missed some signs and even when we communicated something we wanted done in the middle of an inning, we still didn't do it. I expect better than that from my players.”
Short on arms, Salisbury coach Scott Maddox decided to send junior varsity pitcher Kevin Dupre to the hill. With not much speed behind his pitches, Dupre was able to throw off the timing of the East hitters and fared well. But the Eagles eventually figured him out and began to put the ball in play.
In the bottom half of the second, Kolton Hawks led off with a walk and was singled over to second by Cody Beck. Following a 1-5-3 double play, Tyler Rhodes jumped on a pitch to left that drove in the first run of the afternoon.
East extended its lead to 3-0 in the third. Nathan Campbell doubled and went to third on an error in the outfield. Ryan McIntire grounded out to first a couple pitches later, but it was good enough to allow Campbell to scoot home.
With two gone and nobody on, Jake Geren began a new rally after getting hit by a pitch. He then stole second, before rounding the final two bases on a Hawks single to center.
Salisbury (6-17) had a solid threat in the fifth inning, loading the bases with two outs. McIntire escaped with no harm done, though, getting a ground ball to short that Nick Williams handled with ease before rushing over to tag second base.
“We had runners in scoring position five out of the seven innings and could not get a run in,” said Maddox. “You just cannot do that against a team like East Davidson.”
East added solo runs in the fifth and sixth innings to open up the gap to five. Tyler Rhodes pitched the final two innings for the Eagles. McIntire (6-3) gave up only two hits.
“We did some good things and are certainly pleased with the fact we got the win,” said Tricarico. “But at this point of the season you have to be hitting on more cylinders than what we are hitting on. We have to iron some things out.”
Notes: Hawks ended 2-for-2 and Campbell went 2-for-3 … East, 15-5, will be the No. 1 seed out of the CCC for the playoffs no matter the outcome of Thursday's game … Nick Williams will likely get the ball in the championship game.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.