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In a season-opening game Feb. 27 of the high school baseball season, Ashley beat West Brunswick 11-3.
Ashley had one hit in the seven-inning game, but took advantage of three errors, three hit batters and 10 walks to win the game.
“No excuse for that,” West coach Mike Alderson said.
West used five pitchers, and the walks dismayed Alderson.
“Thirteen walks,” he said. “None of our pitchers play any other sports. They have been throwing bullpen since September. I’m frustrated with the pitching.”
West pitchers walked the leadoff batter in the first, third, fourth and seventh innings, and the Screaming Eagles scored at least two runs in each of those innings.
“There is no defense in baseball for walks,” Alderson said. “Eighty-three percent of all leadoff walks in high school baseball score,” he said.
Starter Ryan Caison pitched two-plus innings and gave up five walks and hit one batter. He struck out two. He was charged with five runs, two unearned.
Carson Tew pitched three innings, walking three batters and hitting one. He struck out two. He gave up three unearned runs.
Josh Cribb pitched a scoreless sixth inning.
Dustin Darguzas gave up two walks and two unearned runs in the seventh.
Brett Babson hit a batter and gave up one unearned run. He struck out two.
West was held to five hits, but Alderson said he expected the hitting to improve during the season. Hunter Howard had one of those hits, a double inside the right-field line, driving in West’s first run in the fourth inning.
Markel Jones reached on an error in the fifth inning—his speed caused an errant throw—and a run scored on the play.
West’s final run came in the sixth off a walk, a passed ball, a groundout and a wild pitch.
Erick Hill, Cole Josselyn and Khalil Gause also had hits for West.
Ashley started Eric Eason gave up two hits and one run in four innings. He walked four and struck out three.
Alderson said this is the most veteran team he has had—with one starter gone from last year—and the entire pitching staff back. But that meant little in the game against Ashley.
“You don’t win baseball games on paper,” he said.
West beats New Hanover
West Brunswick beat New Hanover 5-4 in a seven-inning game Friday in Wilmington. New Hanover rallied for three runs in the seventh before losing.
Starter Brett Babson was the winning pitcher, giving up 1 unearned run and three hits in 4.1 innings. He struck out three and walked four.
West finished with six hits. Cooper Hewett hit a double and had two RBIs. Hunter Howard and Dustin Darguzas each hit a sacrifice fly. Markel Jones was 1-for-2 with two walks, two stolen bases and two runs scored. Howard and Cole Josselyn each walked twice. Josselyn scored two runs.
West Brunswick beat Ashley 3-1 in a junior varsity game Feb. 27 at Ashley. For West, which had four hits, Austin Turner was 2-for-3 with one RBI. Zack Johnson was 1-for-3 with one RBI. Connor Durham also had one RBI. Durham was the winning pitcher, giving up two hits and one unearned run in four innings. He walked none and struck out four. Each team made two errors.
On Friday, West stole 10 bases and routed New Hanover 15-5 in seven innings. New Hanover made seven errors and West made four. West outhit New Hanover 12-5. Tyler Stanley was 1-for-4 with one RBI. Gray Cheers was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs. Hunter Ashburn was 3-for-3 with one RBI. Winning pitcher Tristan Lewis was 1-for-2 with one RBI. Austin Turner was 1-for-3 with one RBI. Connor Durham was 1-for-3 with one RBI. Jake Elliott had one RBI. Charlie Carcich was 1-for-3 with four RBIs. Zach Johnson was 2-for-4 with one RBI.