Prep Baseball: Carson 17, Statesville 0
By Ryan Bisesi
CHINA GROVE — Carson’s eyes may have been averted to Friday’s anticipated showdown with East Rowan, but the Cougars stayed alert to the task at hand on Tuesday night.
Joseph Basinger got the first inside-the-park home run of his life and Carson enjoyed a shortened 17-0 rout of Statesville in its 3A North Piedmont Conference opener.
Basinger laced one into left field in the first inning and made it all the way home after Greyhound left -fielder Jesus Torrealba was hurt on the play as three runs scored. It wasn’t the leisurely jog around the bases he was used to, but Basinger took it in stride.
“It was a 2-2 count and I was just trying to protect and foul anything off,” Basinger said. “He gave me a letter-high fastball and just swung.”
“He’s hit quite a few ‘original’ home runs,” Carson coach Chris Cauble said. “But I told him we’ll take it.”
Carson (2-2, 1-0) made Statesville starter Jay Mixson endure a 41-pitch bottom-of-the-first and followed with 10 runs in the second inning to keep any thoughts of an upset stagnant. After letting a six-run lead against Jay M. Robinson evaporate in its last game, the Cougars kept their paws on the gas, taking advantage of five Statesville errors.
“We blew a six-run lead against Robinson so we wanted to make sure we came out and finish the job instead of letting somebody hang around,” Cauble said. “It’s kind of hard to stay focused the whole time during a game like today, but I felt like everybody stayed focused, even the subs that came in.”
Carson was just as efficient on the mound as starter Gavin Peeler threw three innings, allowing no hits, striking out three and even showed his pickoff skills in the second inning by catching Jerry Jones napping at first. Peeler stayed in for 48 pitches before Mitch Galloway and Austin Bracewell tossed scoreless frames to finalize the night. No Statesville player advanced beyond second base.
“He’s got a very nice curveball to go along with his fastball,” said Cauble of Peeler. “It tails a lot and his fastball has run on it.”
Kyle Youngo was hit by a pitch on Mixson’s second toss of the night and later stole second. Gunnar Hogan, a Catawba signee, singled Youngo home with a single to right. After Basinger’s homer, Josh Martin scored on an infield error.
Basinger, Hogan, Martin, Youngo, KJ Pressley and Sam Williams all got in on the fun in the second, driving in runs. Statesville reliever Evan Vogel, who came in to throw the second, only made it a third of an inning after 46 pitches.
Oddly enough, Bracewell had the only extra-base hit with an RBI-double in the third, where the Cougars tacked on the final three runs.
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