Davie blanks Knights
Thu. May 03, 2012 at 11:30 p.m. | By Mike Duprez
North Davidson third baseman Drew Beaver throws to first after fielding a grounder against Davie County during their Central Piedmont Conference tournament semifinal game on Thursday at Reagan High School. (Photo by Mike Duprez/The Dispatch)
PFAFFTOWN | North Davidson’s hopes of getting to the state playoffs involved winning the Central Piedmont Conference tournament. But standing in the way was Davie County.
And that was a tough matchup all season for the Black Knights.
Davie ace Ryan Foster fired a three-hitter and also drove in three runs as the top-seeded War Eagles shut out fifth-seeded North 6-0 in the CPC semifinals on Thursday, bringing the earliest end to the Knights’ season in several years.
“I think it’s been like six or seven years that I can remember us packing up the gear in the first of May,” said North coach Mike Meadows. “Got to go to work now. I guess I’ll work on my golf game.”
North’s run as a state title contender included two trips to the 4-A state semifinals in three years. But the Knights, who ended their season at 12-12, were overpowered by the right-handed Foster, who struck out nine and gave up three singles.
“They’ve got two big-time arms,” Meadows said. “Ryan Foster is the best pitcher in our conference by far. They’ve got three guys in the middle who can really hit. The bottom of the lineup has good hitters. They’ve got so many weapons.”
Davie outscored North 25-3 in three games this season.
“We’ve got two really good pitchers,” said Davie coach Mike Herndon. “We swing it pretty good. It’s always fun competing against them (North). We wear the same colors. It’s a good rivalry and we respect them for what they do.”
North countered with its own ace, Appalachian State-bound Clyde Tate. But the War Eagles got eight hits off Tate, who couldn’t dominate the way he did against West Forsyth last Friday.
“We didn’t help him a lot in the first couple of innings with some mistakes we made,” Meadows said. “But I’m proud of the way we battled.”
Davie (18-4) advanced to Friday’s championship game against West Forysth.
Foster set the tone immediately when he struck out UNC-bound Landon Lassiter leading off the game. Lassiter had smashed two home runs in North’s 8-4 first-round win over Mount Tabor on Wednesday.
It was the War Eagles who did all the big hitting Thursday.
Foster drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the first and courtesy runner Logan Hendricks went to third on Corey Randall’s double down the left field line. Hendricks scored on a wild pitch and Matt Vernon singled in Randall. So right away North faced a 2-0 deficit against a standout pitcher.
A pair of singles, a walk and Foster’s sacrifice fly made it 3-0 in the second.
North finally had a chance to do something in the third after Foster had retired the first six batters. Two hit batsmen and a single by Taylor Idol loaded the bases with one out. But Foster got Jake Roberson to foul out to catcher Will Beeson and struck out Chase Mitchell on three pitches.
The Knights again loaded the bases in the fourth, this time with two out. Idol ripped a line drive but it was straight at second baseman Nick Boswell, who snagged it for the third out.
“Ryan Foster had a lot to do with leaving those runners on,” Meadows said.
Foster’s two-run single in the bottom of the fourth put it further out of reach for the Knights.
Meadows lifted Tate with one out in the bottom of the sixth and the senior right-hander drew a nice round of applause from North fans as he walked to the dugout. Tate allowed eight hits while striking out four and walking two in 5 1/3 innings.
Boswell greeted reliever Drew Beaver with a run-scoring double to close out the scoring.
Mike Duprez can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.