Spartans run past Lexington
Mon. April 30, 2012 at 11:57 p.m. | By Mike Duprez
Lexington shortstop Alex Franklin leaps in an attempt to snag a high throw as Central Davidson’s Kade Roach slides safely into second base during their Central Carolina Conference tournament first round game Monday night at Central. (Photo by Mike Duprez/The Dispach)
The task for Central Davidson’s baseball team this week is simple. Win one and clinch a berth in the state playoffs. Win three and get a home playoff game.
Part one was accomplished Monday with ease.
John Hanes doubled and tripled and drove in two runs while pitching a complete game as the Spartans eased past Lexington 14-3 in five innings in the first round of the Central Carolina Conference tournament at the Spartans’ field.
Central (11-11) is assured of seeding of no worse than fourth in the 2-A playoffs. If the Spartans can win the tournament, they will claim the No. 2 seed and a home game in the first round.
“Now it’s to try and get a better seed,” said first-year Central coach Matt Parsons. “Maybe we can get on a roll, put some hits together and upset some teams the rest of the tournament.”
Central faces top-seeded West Davidson at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Thomasville’s Finch Field in the semifinals. The second semifinal pits No. 3 Salisbury against No. 2 East Davidson at 7 p.m. The winners will meet in the championship game at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Reaching the semifinals wasn’t a problem for the Spartans. Lexington was guilty of seven errors — including the first three balls put in play — as well as numerous wild pitches and passed balls. Ten of the 14 runs off Lexington pitcher Kitrez Sanders were unearned, including all six in the first inning.
“We can’t win with errors like that,” said Lexington coach Sam Mackey. “Kitrez did everything I asked him to do. He threw strikes, didn’t walk a lot of people. We just didn’t make plays behind him.”
Lexington ended its season with a 1-19 record.
Kade Roach, Jason Shull and Josh Moore each had a hit and RBI for the Spartans.
Hanes (3-0) allowed eight hits while striking out six and walking two.
Lexington actually outhit Central 8-7. Tevander Sankar was 3-for-3 with an RBI, Alex Franklin was 2-for-3 with two runs and Juan Longoria was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
The Yellow Jackets took a brief 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Franklin led off with a double, moved to third on Longoria’s grounder and scored on an infield single by Sankar.
But then came the three consecutive errors as well as a passed ball on a strikeout that paved the way for six runs on only two hits.
It went on from there as the Spartans added five more in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth.
“Tonight was about taking care of business,” Parsons said. “Lexington is much improved over the past several years. We came out and did what we needed to do. We put the ball in play and made routine plays.”
It was the last game for Mackey, who is leaving Lexington after five years for an assistant football coaching position at Freedom High in Morganton, which is much closer to his Hickory home.
“What we did in five years was remarkable from where we were,” Mackey said. “The kids couldn’t even take infield or outfield then. They couldn’t even warm up. Hopefully, they’ll hire somebody who will keep it going.”
Mike Duprez can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 218 or email@example.com.