Prep Baseball: Central Davidson 8, Salisbury 1
By Jason Queen
The Lexington Dispatch
For Central Davidson’s offense, it’s usually just a matter of time.
And for Spartans’ opponents, time is usually of the essence.
That was certainly true Wednesday afternoon at Central, when the Spartans got timely hit after timely hit and Nick Musgrave worked his way out of two early jams to lift Central to an 8-1 victory over visiting Salisbury.
Down 1-0 with runners on second and third with one out in the second, Musgrave came through with a pair of strikeouts to keep the game close.
In the following inning, he got some help from battery mate Trevor Leonard. Salisbury’s Frankie Cardelle drew a two-out walk and moved to third on Forrest Buchanan’s single to right center. But Central coach Jonathan Brown called a pitch-out with an 0-2 count on Jordan Fuller, and the move worked. Leonard came up firing and nailed courtesy runner Daman Bowman trying to steal second to end the inning.
Those two defensive stops, on the heels of Buchanan’s solo homer in the second, bought the Central bats just enough time to get in gear.
“Nick did a really good job and made some big pitches when he had to,” Central coach Jonathan Brown said. “We gave up the home run, then they got second and third with one out. Being able to get out of it without giving up another one, that was huge.”
For Salisbury coach Scott Maddox, missing those opportunities was all too familiar in the early going.
“It would have been big in two waysóone in the context of this game, but also in that this is the third game we’ve had that situation and haven’t been able to come up with the hit or whatever we needed to get the run in.”
Central, after struggling for the first 2 2/3 innings off Buchanan, didn’t have the same problem once the Spartans broke the ice. Justin Laws, the No. 9 hitter in the lineup, drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the third. Brett Woodard then singled to left, and Landon Clark hit a soft liner to right to drive in Laws.
With runners on first and third, Maddox elected to intentionally walk Chaz Frank to load the bases. But Leonard made the Hornets pay, ripping the first pitch he saw for a base hit to score Woodard. With the bases still loaded, the Spartans completely turned the tide with a wild play. Buchanan’s first pitch got past catcher Jordan Fuller, hitting Fuller’s shinguard and careening near the Central dugout. Clark scored from third, and Frank never slowed down and scored all the way from second to make it 4-1.
On the next pitch, Beck laced a ground ball toward second that John Knox couldn’t handle, and Leonard scored. Just like that, the Spartans led 5-1 and seemed to be in complete control.
Musgrave was lights out from there, setting down 11 of the last 13 batters he faced. One of the baserunners he allowed was erased by a made-to-order double play to end the fourth. He finished with a complete-game five-hitter, striking out seven and walking two.
Cental added a run in the fifth on Leonard’s sacrifice fly, and Laws ripped a two-run double in the sixth for the final score.
Woodard and Clark ended with two hits each for Central,
The Spartans, now 1-0 in the CCC, 5-0 overall, visit Providence Grove at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Salisbury, 0-1, 0-3, hosts East Davidson on Friday.