Prep Baseball: Eagles deal Ledford 10-0 loss
East Davidson waited an extra day to play rival Ledford on its home field. The wait was well worth it.
Banging out 11 hits, the Golden Eagles saved the best for last, as sophomore Ryan McIntire launched a mammoth home run to run-rule the Panthers 10-0 in six innings Saturday evening. Braxton Shetley (3-1) and Avery Bowles combined for the shutout on the mound. Bubba White (1-3) took the loss.
“That was one of those games as a coach you like to have,” said EDHS coach Dan Tricarico. “We got some guys in the game that have not gotten to play much recently and they hit the ball hard. It was a positive game for us.”
After the Panthers left runners at second and third in the first inning, Tyler Stroup lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Nick Williams and put East up 1-0. They needed no other production, but Tricarico pulled off a risky move in the second inning just in case.
Nathan Campbell scored on an error after his leadoff single, then the Golden Eagles put runners at second and third with one out as Josh Craven and Tyler Rhodes each reached. With two strikes in the count to Williams, East put on a squeeze play that caught the Panthers completely off guard. Craven broke for home and Williams got the bunt down. The throw went to first for the out as Craven raced home easily. The play was not done yet. Rhodes never broke stride from second, zipping into home right behind Craven for a second run.
“It was a situation where the pitcher is in the windup and when you have guys at second and third you want to go and take that chance,” said Tricarico. “Nick is one of our better bunters and even though he had two strikes we were taking a chance. But that was the surprise factor in terms of that working out.”
Shetley kept the Panthers off the board through four innings striking out five along the way. He handed the ball to Bowles in the fifth with a 6-0 lead after two more runs crossed for the Eagles. Bowles retired the six batters he faced, striking out five of them.
In the sixth, East (12-2) ended the night early with a couple of subs getting in on the action. Williams scored on an infield single by Corey Waldroup, and Kelvin Pena’s sacrifice fly brought in Waldroup. A single from Shetley brought the potential 10th run to the dish and McIntire sent the Panthers home with a loud good-bye. His towering home run sailed more than 400 feet out of the park to end a disappointing night for Kemp Smith’s club.
“They are a really good team and tonight we were a really bad team,” he said. “They came out swinging the bats and we came out on our heels. They made plays and we did not make plays. It is not that hard to write that script to see how that ends.”
Attention turns back to conference play for the two teams as the regular season comes to a close in a couple of weeks. East has six games left against the three schools that are challenging them for the Central Carolina Conference title.
“It all starts for us this week,” said Tricarico. “We have a tough run of six games and we need to be at our best. Hopefully we can build on this and continue to play well.”
Notes: Bowles and Shetley had two hits each ... Williams finished with three RBIs ... Ledford (7-6) got hits from Chaz Shields and Randy Norwood