F&M Classic: Carson 11, Robinson 5
By Ryan Bisesi
KANNAPOLIS ó Better late than never for Carson.
The Cougars saw their bats come alive on the final day of the F&M Bank High School Baseball Classic in an 11-5 win against Jay M. Robinson at Fieldcrest-Cannon Stadium.
Carson finally slayed the Robinson beast, which had topped two Rowan County teams in their first two games of the Tournament.
Mitch Galloway had his best outing of the year on the mound for the Cougars. Galloway threw six innings, his longest outing of his high school career, scattering 10 hits and allowing four runs.
Was he tired after throwing deeper than ever in a game? Of course not.
ěI feel like I could have gone as long as they wanted me too,î Galloway said.
After taking it on the chin in an 11-2 loss to Northwest Cabarrus on Thursday, the victory served as a amnesia ray heading into the NPC Tournament.
ěWe wanted to wipe out any of those bad thoughts with a good performance here today,î Carson coach Chris Cauble said. ěIím still not happy even with that many hits. When you get 15, then you want 20.î
Galloway had plenty of support from his offense, which banged out 14 hits and ran Robinson starter Tyler Sciaudone off after four innings. After failing to reach base in the first, Carson scored three times in the second. Joseph Basinger scored on a rare double steal and Connor Bridges got the first of four RBIs on a bloop single to right. K.J. Pressley then singled home another run for a 3-0 edge.
ěTheyíre a good two-strike hitting team,î Robinson coach Jason Sarvis said. ěThey swung the bats really well today. We hit the ball well today but we hit into too many double plays that killed rallies.î
The bottom of the third was the lone gray stretch for Carson as the Bulldogs rallied to tie it at 3, but Bridges was there again to respond. After Gavin Peeler was hit by a pitch to start the fourth and later scored when Bridges sprayed a double down the right field line. The Cougars never trailed after that and pulled away with seven runs in the final two frames.
ěWe were really working on staying back and driving the ball to right field,î Bridges said. ěWe produced runs when we needed to.î
Pressley added an RBI groundout for a 5-3 lead, which Robinson cut into with a Blaine Hill RBI single in the bottom of the inning.
Carson (15-7) turned a pair of key double plays in the game, one in particular on a Shawn Weber shot back up the middle in the fifth when it was still a 5-4 game. After the ball nearly took out Galloway, Josh Martin scooped it up and flipped it from a tough angle behind second base to Kyle Youngo, who fired an accurate throw to first to end the inning.
ěThat was tough ball to get to and stay down on,î Galloway said. ěIt was a great play by Josh. The defense was behind me all day.î
The sound defense gave the Cougars momentum, with Galloway starting the sixth with a single and went to second on a wild pitch from pitcher Dillon Ashburn. Two batters later, Bridges drove in his pitcher with a groundout. Pressley drove in a run later with runners at the corners for a 7-4 lead.
The seventh was smooth sailing for Carson as Galloway, Tripp Cross, Bridges, Dylan Carpenter and Pressley all reached base consecutively, leading to a four-run inning.