Prep Baseball: Carson blasts Raiders
LANDIS — It is still early in the schedule but the Carson Cougars appear to be in solid midseason form.
The Cougars turned a neighborhood NPC battle at South Rowan into 12-0 rout in five innings Friday night, putting themselves back at the top of the standings.
“Up to this point we haven’t put a performance like that together in a game,” Carson coach Chris Cauble said. “We pitched it extremely well, played solid defense and it impresed me the way we hit line drives to all parts of the field,”
The Cougars (7-2, 2-1) pounded out 14 hits and rode the dominant pitching of Colton Laws (1-1) to grab a virtual share of first place in the North Piedmont Conference.
The host Raiders, coming off a solid win at North Ireddell earlier this week, were hanging tough behind starter Aaron Bare (1-2) when the wheels came off in the third and fourth innings. Five infield errors and then the line-drive barrage by Carson accounted for 10 runs in those two innings to seal South’s fate.
“We just didn’t make enough plays behind him (Bare),” coach Thad Chrismon stated. “ Laws did a good job. They made the routine plays and we didn’t”
Six Cougars posted two hits each in the onslaught as they notched their fifth consecutive win over South. Designated hitter Devon Peacock provided the offensive spark in both of the big scoring innings. His RBI single started the four-run third then his booming double to deep right started the decisive six-run fourth.
“I was just doing what the coach tells me to do, which is seeing it travel and seeing it deep,” Peacock said. “We like to get ahead as quick as possible and put as much pressure on them as possible.”
Peacock, K.J. Pressley, John Daugherty, Greg Tonnesen, Bryson Prugh and Austin McNeill each had a pair of hits while Peacock, Laws and Pressley each drove in a pair of runs.
For Laws, a 6-foot-6 junior, his shutout pitching was his greatest contribution as he scattered six hits, all singles, struck out five and walked only one in four complete innings.
“I was using various pitches , mixing it up and not using just one,” Laws stated. “Plus I had good defense behind me.”
His real test came in the top of the third with Carson leading 2-0. South’s Tyler Fuller and Dylan Goodman led off with back-to-back singles then Eric Tyler loaded the bases with no outs when he was plunked by a pitch.
Laws escaped the serious jam by striking out Dillon Parker, then retiring Nathan Lambert on a liner to second and coaxing a pop-up by Jonnie Lefebvre.
“I had to trust my defense behind me,” Laws said of the turning point. “I had to live low, get some ground balls and throw strikes.”
Daugherty came on for Laws in the bottom of the fifth and closed it out with two strkeouts of his own.
The four-run third gave Carson some breathing room, then the 6-run fourth, keyed by five straight hits, made it all academic.
Carson, now tied for the NPC lead with East and West Rowan, returns home Tuesday against West Iredell. South looks to bounce back as they host the Mustangs the same night.
“This game will be forgotton by then”, Chrismon stated.