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F&M Bank Classic: Carson loses to Lake Norman; Brown falls to Pisgah

By Marny Hendrick

sports@salisburypost.com

KANNAPOLIS — The Lake Norman Wildcats normally rely on their power, but Saturday morning they effectively used small-ball tactics to beat the Carson Cougars, 4-1.

Using a combination of sacrifice bunts, stolen bases, sacrifice flies and infield hits, the Wildcats (9-4) snapped a two-game skid, including a opening round loss to South Rowan in the F&M High School Baseball Classic at CMC Northeast stadium.

Carson (6-6) was baffled, meanwhile, by Lake Norman left hander Ian Perkins, who went the distance for the win. South starter Tanner Christy took the loss despite a strong effort, allowing just five hits.

Lake Norman scored one in the third on two bunts and a sacrifice fly by Zach Little. Another run scored in the fourth as Corbin Ryan had an infield hit, stole two bases and scored on a short single to left. The score reached 4-0 in the fifth on a Chase Bishop RBI single then a triple to left by Ricky Zayicek.

Carson got one run back in the bottom of the sixth as Matt Saul singled before Ryan Bearden dropped a ball into shallow right and legged it out for a triple. But they could not solve Perkins the rest of the way and lost for the second time in the tournament.

“He was throwing us a lot of change-ups and curveballs,” said Cougar freshman shortstop Owen White, who had two of the five hits off Perkins. “And that threw us off. Coach told us to stay back and wait on it but we didn’t adjust.”

Lake Norman will play in the fifth-place game on Monday against Pisgah, while Carson is in the seventh place contest against AL Brown. Both games will be at the Wonder’s home field.

“When you are struggling a little bit at the plate, the game of baseball can be kind of rude,” Cougar Coach Chris Cauble said. “We will just have to fight through it and keep hitting the ball hard.”

 

Carson 000 001 0 — 1 5 0

Lake Norman 001 120 x — 4 5 0

WP —  Ian Perkins. LP — Tanner Christy (2-2).

 

Pisgah vs. A.L. Brown

KANNAPOLIS —  An unusual sacrifice fly play scored the go-ahead run for the Pisgah Bears Saturday afternoon as they edged A.L. Brown, 5-4, in the F&M High School Baseball Classic.

The Wonders had rallied in the top of the sixth with three runs to tie the game at 4-4, thanks to RBI doubles by Tyler Hendley and Irvin Garcia. But the Bears chased Brown starter Nathan Watson in the bottom half with lead-off singles by Bryce Burgess and Ben Williams. After a fielder’s choice put runners on the corners, Pisgah’s Mason Fox skied a fly ball to medium right that Damon Johnson caught then dropped.

The umpire ruled the catch was secured long enough for out two and Johnson then fired to third to nail the trailing runner Williams. The double play ended the inning but Burgess had tagged and scored before the final out.

Pisgah (7-2) scored four in the third to go up 4-1 off key doubles by Trevor Johnson and Thomas Tatham. Freshman righty Jaxson Reed made it stand until the Wonders rally in the sixth. Eli Medford came on for the win with one inning of relief. Watson took the loss for Brown. Sophomore Austin Nanney earned the save with a perfect seventh sending the Wonders to their sixth straight loss.

Hendley went three for three to lead Brown (6-8) as they outhit the Bears 10-8. Garcia added a pair of doubles. Tatham and Cody Lovelace had two hits each for the winners.

“We played a lot better today,” Pisgah coach Harold Shepherd said after his team lost their opener to Northwest Cabarrus, 4-1, on Friday. “It is good experience for us to get out here and play in this beautiful ballpark.”

Both Brown and Pisgah will be in action in the fifth and seventh place games this Monday afternoon at A.L.Brown field.

 

A.L. Brown 010 003 0 — 4 10 0

Canton Pisgah 004 001 x — 5 8 1

WP —   Eli Medford. LP — Nathan Watson.

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