Prep Baseball: Salisbury 4, Central Davidson 3: First win for Hornets

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 27, 2012

By Mike Duprez
LEXINGTON — The ball bounced off home plate in the fifth inning and that hurt Central Davidson. The Spartans thought a ball hit by Jason Shull bounced off home plate in the bottom of the seventh inning but the ruling was that it didn’t and that hurt the Spartans too.
Previously winless Salisbury scored the tiebreaking run on a swinging third strike wild pitch in the top of the fifth and rode the robust swings of leadoff hitter Brian Bauk to hand Central a tough 4-3 loss in a Central Carolina Conference game Tuesday at Central.
“Sometimes that’s the way things go,” said first-year Central coach Matt Parsons. “That play with Jason Shull in the seventh, the ball seemed to go off the plate and they called it foul. It’s a subjective call. Sometimes you don’t get the breaks. Tonight, we were unfortunate.”
Central fell to 2-7 overall and 1-2 in the CCC.
With the game tied 3-3 in the fifth and Bauk at third, Central pitcher Dillon Hampton badly fooled Salisbury’s Scott Van der Poel on a 1-2 changeup. Van der Poel swung and missed badly but the ball bounced high off home plate and over catcher Jordan Lakey’s head to the backstop. Bauk raced home to give Salisbury the lead.
After the Spartans failed to bunt a runner over in both the fifth and sixth innings, it looked like they had a chance in the bottom of the seventh with one when Bauk fielded Shull’s high chopper and his one-hopper throw skipped past first baseman Chase Bowden. Shull made it all the way to second but the ball was said to have bounced off him and not the plate to the dismay of Central coaches and fans. Shull ended up grounding out and Bauk got Trevor Nanney foul pop fly to end the game.
The snakebit Hornets (1-9) will take it.
“We’ve hit so many balls right at people this year,” said Salisbury coach Scott Maddox. “I told the kids it’s baseball. It’s going to even out. You get some breaks and you get robbed a few times. I thought their guy did a good job. We threw our three guys and they did a pretty good job. It’s a big win for us.”
Parsons was pensive about a solid complete game effort by Hampton, who allowed only five hits, go for naught. The Spartans got just three hits off Scott Friedrich, Sam Murph and Bauk.
“It comes back to the little things,” Parsons said. “We missed a lot of bunt opportunities, just not getting it down. We had runners on and couldn’t come up with a clutch hit. They made a bunch of plays. For the most part, it everything they did and not so much what we did. Dillon has put a lot of weight on his shoulders for us and carried us a long way. At some point we’re going to start making some plays and pick him up some wins.”
Bauk practically carried the Hornets by going 2-for-3 with two doubles and three runs and getting the save by retiring all five batters he faced.
“He played really well,” Maddox said. “He’s going to compete when he’s out there and we know we’re going to get a good effort out of him.”
Hampton only walked one batter, Bauk leading off the game, but the Hornets made him pay for it. Shortstop Kyle Wolfe laid down a sacrifice bunt and the speed Bauk made it all the way to third. Van der Poel followed with a grounder to short, scoring Bauk and giving Salisbury a 1-0 lead.
Salisbury catcher Riley Myers hit a solo home run over the fence in left center to double the margin.
Bauk, who decided to widened his stance, cracked the first of his two doubles in the third and scored on Wolfe’s single to make it 3-0.
“I tried something different today,” Bauk said. “I’m going to stick with it from now.”
Freidrich had a spell of wildness in the bottom of the third, issuing three walks, and the Spartans pounced. Central scored its first run on Wolfe’s throwing error and tied the game on Lakey’s sacrifice fly and Hampton’s single.
Friedrich walked Nanney leading off the fifth and was replaced by Murph. After the Spartans couldn’t execute a bunt, Nanney tried to steal second but was gunned down when Myers made a perfect throw to second baseman Skylar Mikkelson.
Bauk came on after Murph walked Hampton with one out in the sixth and struck out the next two batters.
The two teams will play again Friday in Salisbury.