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Pitching, hitting propel North past Mount Tabor

WELCOME | Just before coming to bat in the bottom of the fourth inning in a scoreless game against Mount Tabor on Thursday night, North Davidson baseball coach Mike Meadows gathered his players for a quick team huddle.

“I thought we had some real bad at-bats up to that point,” said Meadows. “We weren’t swinging at good pitches, whether we were up in the count or behind in the count.

“I don’t know if we lit a fire, but seeing the guy (Spartan pitcher Dakota Devine) the second or third time through I think helped a little bit more.

“Maybe we were just pressing a little bit too much.”

The Knights erupted for four runs in the bottom of the fourth and used that momentum for a 7-2 Central Piedmont Conference victory over Mount Tabor.

E.P. Reese got the Knights started with a leadoff single and Khylil Miller followed with another base hit.

Then Chris Cheek followed with a bunt single to load the bases.

That set the table for Josh Roberson, who promptly delivered with a two-run single to left center.

Still playing short ball, Wesley Little laid down a perfect safety squeeze to drive in Cheek from third base, and then Chase Mitchell capped the rally with a run-scoring single to left center.

Just like that, the Knights were up 4-0.

“E.P. got us going with a nice clutch single,” said Meadows. “We’ve got some good speed at the bottom of the order and we were able to get a few nice bunts down and get people moving.”

While the Knights finally found their hitting stroke, Roberson was absolutely in control on the mound. He ended up hurling a four-hitter while striking out seven batters and going the distance.

“Josh can throw,” said Meadows. “I thought he was good tonight. He was in a real short pitch count going into the seventh, and then he walked two batters.”

Roberson also got some help from his defense, which turned a pair of tidy 6-4-3 double plays for the game.

“Josh threw good pitches and got ground balls when he needed them,” said Meadows.

North added some insurance in the fifth inning with three more runs. Once again, Reese and Miller came through with consecutive hits (Miller, in fact, beat out a bunt) and then Cheek moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt.

Then Little, the No. 9 hitter in the lineup, drove in both runs with a single to left. Drew Beaver finished the rally with an RBI single to score Little.

Notes: Beaver, Reese, Miller, Roberson and Little had two hits apiece in the game … Roberson improved to 2-1 for the season … North moved to 3-1 in the CPC, 9-2 overall while Mt. Tabor dipped to 1-3 in the league, 2-9 overall.