Falcons Ride Steed’s Arm, McDade’s Bat to Victory over Dudley on Southeast Senior Night
The great thing about the game of baseball is every game you watch, you’ll see something that you’ve never seen before. On Friday night, Senior Night at Southeast Guilford, I experienced another first. I watched senior Bailey Steed come out on the mound for the Falcons to finish a rain suspended game from earlier in the season, to be the winning pitcher against the Dudley Panthers, clinching the Metro 4-A regular season Conference title. After the suspended game was completed, Steed was the starting pitcher in the regularly scheduled match-up, and collected another win. It’s very rare to see a starting pitcher win two games in one day, but Bailey brought his A game once again, and didn’t give up a run in either game.
Southeast won the 5-inning shortened contest 11-1, but the one run had been scored when the game was started on April 14th. The losing pitcher for Dudley in that game was Dante Miller. As soon as the last pitch in that game was thrown, the Falcons’ players, along with assistance from coaches and fans, put the tarp on the field due to rain. The rain delay lasted around forty-five minutes.
The Falcons took the field in the game scheduled for Friday night, Metro 4-A Conference Champions. That didn’t seem to matter to Steed though, as he pitched six shutout innings, giving up four hits, walked two batters, struck out nine, and once again dominated. That performance gave him his second win of the evening.
After the second game, the senior starting pitcher Steed said, “I felt good tonight. I was already loose from finishing the first game, and I got to come back out and start the second one as well. I didn’t have as many walks tonight, and my arm still feels good.” When asked about how it felt to win the conference, Bailey said humbly “I’ve gotten used to winning the conference, since it’s happened all four years of my Southeast career, but it feels good. It’ll be nice to have our playoff games at home.”
“I was a little worried because we got home late last night. We had two lightning delays at Southern Alamance. Bailey reassured me throughout the game that he was feeling good. I was going to leave my senior in there and let him do his thing, and he did.” Southeast Coach Dave Beasley said on Steed’s performance in the game. “Our guys have only given up six runs in conference games this season. I think that’s the most impressive stat pertaining to the regular season conference championship. You’re not going to lose many games when you do that. Our goal coming into this week was to win all of our games, so we could throw out one of our non-conference losses, and get an even higher seed in the playoffs.” Beasley added about his team’s wins, and a fifth straight Metro-4A Regular Season Conference Championship.
The biggest offensive producer for the Falcons was Austin McDade, who was 1-2 with a 2-RBI double in the fourth inning, driving in the final two runs for Southeast. During the postgame interview, McDade said “I felt good at the plate. I have been seeing the ball well lately. I liked the pitch, and took it back-side to the gap. It felt great.” Noah Marley also contributed offensively for Southeast in the fourth inning with an RBI single.
The losing pitcher for Dudley in game scheduled for Friday night was Christian Cokely, who pitched all six innings, giving up four hits, walked and struck out three batters each, and gave up four runs, three of them earned. The Panthers’ main offensive contributor was Camden Williamson, who was 2-3 at the plate.
Dudley Head Coach Larry Farrer was very happy with the start by Cokely. “He’s been consistent, battles, makes plays, and gives 110% every outing”
The message Farrer gave to his team after the two losses was, “Keep your head’s up, we’re going to go into the conference tournament and see what happens. Our record is 15-6 now, and hopefully those fifteen wins are enough to get us in the state playoffs.” Coach Farrer said “I feel real good going into the postseason, I’ve got a great group of kids, and I know we’ll battle. I’m always confident with these kids. They’re tough kids, and great kids.”
These were the final two games of the regular season for both teams, and the conference tournament begins next week.