Wildcat Baseball 2011 - 3rd Round: My Site News: Wildcats rally past Jaguars

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Wednesday, May 18
Wildcats rally past Jaguars
05.18.11 - 12:58 am
BY TUCKER FRAZIER

Herald-sun correspondent

RALEIGH -- East Chapel Hill proved that it is sometimes better to be lucky than good in its 4-2 victory over Athens Drive on Tuesday afternoon in the second round of the state 4-A baseball playoffs.

With the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning and the scored tied at two, East Chapel Hill's Parker Tew lined a sharp groundball to Athens Drive shortstop Blake Seaton, who lost the handle and made an arrant throw to first base allowing Taylor West and Tito Ramos to score the go-ahead runs for the Wildcats (16-10).

"I'm so proud of our guys," East Chapel Hill coach Phil Woodall said.

"We played good defense, hung around and got a little lucky and were just able to come away with more runs in the end."

The old baseball adage that pitching wins games certainly held true as Wildcat righthander Max Hoffman allowed just three runs in seven strong innings to keep the Jaguars at bay.

"That's what Max has done all year," Woodell said. "He's gone out there and given us a chance to win every time. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, but he throws strikes and mixes his fastball with his changeup. He pitched awesome today."

The Wildcats struck first, scoring two runs in the second inning to take an early 2-0 advantage. West ripped a double down the right field line, scoring Henry Branson, who reached base on a leadoff single.

After a passed ball allowed West to advance to third, Ramos hit an RBI groundout to first base to bring home West.

The Jaguars immediately responded with a two-run second inning of their own. Following two quick flyouts, Athens Drive stringed together four straight hits to even the score at two before Hoffman got out of the jam by forcing Seaton to pop out.

Both offenses cooled down in the middle innings, combining for only two hits before the wild seventh inning.

Trailing 4-2, Athens Drive attempted to put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh, but N.C. State signee Chris Williams got caught in a rundown following a RBI single, ending the contest at 4-3.

East Chapel Hill will play the winner of the Jordan-Raleigh Leesville matchup in the third round of the playoffs Friday afternoon.

East Chapel Hill 4, Athens Drive 3

East Chapel Hill 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 -- 4 4 0

Athens Drive 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 -- 3 9 1

Leading hitters -- East Chapel Hill: Taylor West 2-3 (RBI), Henry Branson 1-2 (1 run). Athens Drive: Justin Reynolds 2-3 (RBI, 1 run), Matt Proctor 2-2 (RBI).

Records -- East Chapel Hill 16-10, Athens Drive 15-7-1.

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Tucker Frazier
North Carolina State University
Senior, Communications Media
Technician

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