KANNAPOLIS — Sophomore Omar Bautista had his entire pitching arsenal working Wednesday morning. As a result the West Rowan Falcons are off to a great start in the F&M Bank Classic tournament at CMC-Northeast Stadium.
Bautista pitched a complete game two-hitter, fanned eight and did not walk a batter to boost the Falcons to a 7-0 win over the Concord Spiders. His fellow sophomore, Juan Garcia, led the West offense with a 3-for-3 performance while senior Hunter Teeter cracked a two-run double in the third inning.
“I was just feeling good today,” Bautista said as he improved to 3-0 for the season. “I just got into kind of a zone. Mainly, my fastball was working along with my slider and my curve.”
West (12-2) took advantage of five Concord errors while pounding out nine hits off Spider hurler Joseph Thacker. Garcia’s single drove in the first West run in the second, then it added three more in the third to give Bautista all the cushion he would need. Teeter gapped a double to left to make it 3-0 and Nick Collins drove in another with a single past the third baseman.
The Falcon defense was solid as well as they only made one error and turned a pair of double plays, including one to end the game.
“Omar threw it really well,” Falcon coach Chad Parker said, “and we helped him out defensively. We got some big hits when we needed them so all-in-all, we are happy to get a win.”
West tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to truly put the game out of reach as the Spiders committed two errors and Michael Pinkston had an RBI single up the middle for the 7-0 lead. Concord put two on in the seventh but a 6-4-3 double play closed it out.
“We just made too many errors,” Concord assistant Ronnie Smith stated,” Our pitcher (Thacker) threw well but we just didn’t back him up.”
Smith was covering for head coach Jaymie Russ, who is sitting out a two game suspension due to an ejection last week.
Thacker went six innings and did pitch respectably, allowing five earned runs while fanning three. But he could not match the performance of Bautista.
Parker said his Falcons are using this tourney as a springboard to more success in the second half of their season.
“We are trying to get our nine together, swinging it the way we want to, playing defense and getting some good pitching,” he said. “We would like to sweep the week but we have a tough game coming up and another one right after that.”
NOTE: The Spiders will play South Rowan in the last game tonight (weather permitting). West Rowan will look to keep it going in the 2 p.m. game against AL Brown.
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