4A Baseball Championship: North Davidson takes game one from Green Hope 6-0?
By: Evan Moesta
Left-handed pitcher, Cole Beeker threw a complete game shutout for North Davidson High School in Game One of the 2016 NCHSAA 4A State Baseball Championship Series. The Black Knight offense backed their southpaw with runs in four of the six innings that they were at the plate for a 6-0 victory at Five County Stadium over Green Hope High School on Friday evening
Beeker allowed only nine Falcon runners to reach base in the ballgame, and of those nine he was able to retire two on pick-off throws to first, and another two on double plays. In total, the 6’3 senior went seven innings, while allowing no runs on seven hits, with no walks, a hit batsman, and he registered five strikeouts.
North Davidson was able to back their pitcher with some offense starting in the bottom of the second inning. Corey Joyce walked with two outs, and stole second base on a ball in the dirt to Jed Bryant. Two pitches later, Bryant poked a high fly ball down the right field line that skipped into the stands for a ground rule double. The hit scored Joyce and gave the Black Knights a 1-0 lead.
An inning later, North Davidson’s EP Reese reached on a dropped third strike to lead off the Black Knight third. Jackson Meadows followed with a single to center, and Landon Michael reached on a bunt to load the bases with nobody out. First Baseman Michael Johnson kept the line moving with an RBI single to left field to make it 2-0. Two batters later, Joe Butts grounded into a fielders choice to score another North Davidson run to send the two teams into the fourth inning at 3-0.
The Green Hope order in the top of the fourth would be the first of the ballgame to be retired 1-2-3, and it opened the doors for another North Davidson score in their half of the inning. After reaching base on a dropped third strike an inning prior, EP Reese was safe at first on an error by the Green Hope second baseman. Reese went first to third on a two out single by Landon Michael, and he would score on a wild pitch to Michael Johnson to make it 4-0 North Davidson. Green Hope starter, Mitch Spence ended his outing after a strike out of Johnson. The Falcon senior went four innings, allowing five hits, and four earned runs, along with three wild pitches, and four strikeouts.
Isaac Fisher tossed a scoreless fifth inning for Green Hope, then fellow sophomore Joey Hegeman came on to pitch the sixth for coach Mike Miragliuolo and the Falcons. With one out in the North Davidson sixth, Hegeman hit Nick Tiller with a pitch. EP Reese followed with an RBI double to the gap in right center, and he promptly scored a batter later on a Jackson Meadows RBI single to close out the scoring a 6-0.
With the win, North Davidson moves to 29-2 on the season, and the the Black Knights take the first game of the best-of-three series. Green Hope falls to 25-6 on the campaign, and they will take the field in hopes to even the series on Saturday morning at 11:00am at Five County Stadium.