Walser, West blank South
Thu. March 15, 2012 at 12:15 a.m. | By Mike Duprez
West Davidson’s Jake Walser pitches against South Davidson in the seventh inning of their game on Wednesday at Feezor Field. Walser hurled a four-hit shutout. (Photo by Mike Duprez/The Dispatch)
TYRO | West Davidson has taken on 4-A baseball heavyweights West Forsyth and East Forsyth as well as defending 2-A state champion Randleman so far in the young season.
The playing field was more level for the Dragons on Wednesday. Jake Walser hurled a four-hitter, Koby Martin homered and Matt Berrier had a two-run triple in a five-run sixth inning as the Dragons cruised to a 9-0 win over South Davidson at Feezor Field.
West (3-5) gradually wore down the Wildcats. The Dragons collected 13 hits and in the new BBCOR bat era, repeatedly turned to sacrifice bunts and stolen bases to put pressure on the Wildcats, who fell to 1-5. South pitcher Dakota Garner held West mostly in check for four innings with offspeed pitches, keeping his team within shouting distance until the latter innings.
“That’s kind of the way things are now,” said West coach Jerry Walser. “You’re going to have to go for one run at a time. That guy did a good job of keeping us off balance. We really hadn’t seen anyone like that. So it was a very positive experience for us.”
It turned out one run was all Jake Walser needed. The Dragon right-hander struck out seven without issuing a walk and never faced a serious scoring threat.
“That’s why we have him out there,” coach Walser said. “We know that’s what he can do.”
West took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Justin Cecil walked, stole second and scored on Tyler Hudson’s single. The Dragons added two more in the third. Cecil reached on a bunt single and Hudson walked. Martin moved them up with a sacrifice bunt and Cecil scored on Tyler Redd’s fielder’s choice grounder. Courtesy runner Austin Teague came home on Colby Bessette’s fielder’s choice grounder.
Martin blasted his first home run of the season in the fifth, a solo shot over the fence in right field that increased the Dragons’ lead to 4-0.
Then it all broke loose for West in the sixth, starting with Justin Smith’s infield single. Cecil had an RBI single right after Berrier’s two-run triple. Of the six batters Garner faced in the inning, five got hits.
“We didn’t help him out a couple of times on defense,” said South coach Matt Kizer. “When you do that you prolong an inning on a pitcher. It makes him have to work extra hard and I think he just ran out of gas. His pitch count was up in the 90s. If we made some plays earlier, he probably has 15-20 less pitches.”
Justin Freeman and Bissette had consecutive run-scoring singles off reliever Jordan Peacock to round out the scoring. All the runs were charged to Garner, who allowed 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings with three walks and a strikeout.
Walser liked his team’s patience at the plate even before the big outburst.
“That’s generally what we try to do,” the West coach said. “We want to work the counts and get as many pitches as we can."
West hosts High Point Andrews on Thursday while South visits West Montgomery on Friday.
Notes: Freeman was 2-for-2 … Cecil and Martin were both 2-for-3 with an RBI … Queen was 2-for-3 … Bissette was 1-for-4 with two RBIs … South’s Cameron Carroll was 2-for-3.
Mike Duprez can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 218 or email@example.com.