Tate pitches North to win
Tue. March 06, 2012 at 11:44 p.m. | By Bruce Wehrle
North Davidson pitcher Clyde Tate delivers a pitch to a Wesleyan batter during their game Tuesday night. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)
WELCOME | A little drama never hurt anyone.
North Davidson pitcher Clyde Tate survived a shaky seventh inning while hurling an otherwise tight 5-1 victory over Wesleyan Christian on Tuesday afternoon in nonconference action. North is now 2-3 overall for the year.
Tate, who scattered five hits in the game, walked the bases loaded with only one out in the seventh inning, thus bringing the tying run to the plate.
But Tate struck out Brandon Goodson for the second out and then got Jon Olczak to ground out into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
“I tried to fill it up like I’d been doing all game,” said Tate of his interesting last inning. “I just tried to stay in the strike zone.”
Indeed, staying in the strike zone was what it was all about as Tate whiffed nine batters against those three walks.
“We’ve been working since December on throwing strikes,” explained Tate. “I was just trying to stick to the basics. I felt real good out there today.”
One person who was impressed was his coach, Mike Meadows.
“That might be the best I’ve seen Clyde throw in the four years he’s been here,” said Meadows. “Coach (Greg) Simpson has done a great job with him. They’ve tinkered with his mechanics.
“He’s always been able to throw hard, but now he’s throwing strikes and he’s found a second pitch with a little slider that he throws,” said Meadows. “He throws with confidence.
“Hey, he was strong at the end, but when the adrenaline gets pumping you lose the strike zone a little bit. But, you know, he was our man and he did a great job.”
Meadows also had praise for catcher C.J. Rice.
“Rice, behind the plate, has been phenomenal,” added Meadows, “both swinging the bat and handling our pitching staff. So hopefully we’re starting to gel.”
It didn’t hurt that North scored early and often in the first two innings. The Knights pushed across three runs in the first inning, taking advantage of three hit batters, a walk and an error for a 3-0 lead.
“They struggled with their control a little bit and that put the game in our favor,” said Meadows.
Then, in the second inning, Landon Lassiter and Chase Mitchell clouted back-to-back home runs to pump the lead up to 5-0. After that, neither team could muster much offense, until the Trojans put a little scare into the Knights in the final inning.
Mitchell ended up 2-for-3 for the game.