Prep Baseball: Bowles, East Davidson find way to win
East Davidson was having one of those days where nothing they did seemed to work out. Good teams find a way around it and the surging Golden Eagles did just that.
Avery Bowles was a major factor in the recovery. The senior pitcher had a tough first inning on the mound, but regrouped and made a bigger impact with his bat. On an afternoon when every hard-hit ball was right at someone for the Eagles, Bowles connected for a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth that cleared the bases. It gave East their first lead and paved the way for a grind-it-out 5-3 victory over Central Carolina Conference opponent Central Davidson Thursday.
“No matter what the score is we are going to fight to the last out,” said Bowles. “That is just how we are. We are really coming together as a team.”
The Spartans lost 12-2 earlier in the week to East, but made good use of poor command by Bowles in the opening frame to jump on top. Trevor Nanney hit a leadoff double with John Hanes adding a single and Spencer Snider a double. The end result was a 2-0 lead for Central.
East made solid contact for much of the day but could not muster up a rally through four innings.
“We hit the ball early a few times but it was right at people,” said East coach Dan Tricarico. “After a while you are starting to think that it is going to be one of these days.”
Fortunes began to change in the fifth, moments after a scary play for Central pitcher Jason Shull. East’s Ryan McIntire sent a missile right back where it came from and Shull was somehow able to knock it down and get the out at first. The sting set in seconds later and Shull needed a few moments to shake the pain and scare. He was never the same.
Consecutive singles and a walk loaded the bases. A.J. Holder grounded out to put the Eagles on the board, then courtesy runner Austin Grizzell raced in on a wild pitch, tying the score after five innings.
Bowles set the Spartans down in order in the sixth, leading up to his game-winning stroke in the bottom half.
A single from Shetley and double by McIntire brought the day to an end for Shull. Reliever Jordan Laws took over and walked Campbell to load the sacks. On a 0-1 pitch, Bowles unloaded to the opposite field and found the gap in between right and center. Everyone on the bases scored to put the Eagles up 5-2.
“I have been taking a lot of reps with Coach T to get better and I just saw the pitch I wanted and hit it in the gap,” said Bowles.
Central made some noise in the seventh scoring one on a Kade Roach single. With two still on and only one out, Bowles picked up a flyout and strikeout to finish his complete-game effort.
“I was impressed with Central after the way they had played on Tuesday,” said Tricarico. “They came back today and played a tough game.”
East (14-2) stays perched atop the CCC standings at 6-0, while Central dips to 2-4 in the league. The Eagles have two tough tests next week in a pair of outings with second place West Davidson.
Notes: Bowles (5-1) struck out eight and was the only East player with multiple hits ... Nanney, Hanes and Roach all had two hits for the Spartans.