A-G can't overcome strong FC pitching effort
AYDEN — Although Farmville Central entered Tuesday’s intra-county matchup with Ayden-Grifton with an 0-2 record, the Jaguars earned their first win of the season by shutting out the host Chargers, 2-0.
Two A-G errors in the seventh inning cost the Chargers.
“This game is a perfect example of the things that we do wrong,” Chargers coach Corey Skinner said. “We don’t overcome teams that don’t beat themselves. There seems to be no willingness to be great. Nobody will take charge and take this team on their shoulders and be the leader. They gave us every chance they could to beat them by walking us, and we didn’t take the opportunity.”
After striking out the leadoff hitter, Chargers’ starter Tanner Cannon surrendered a walk and a pair of singles to load the bases. Cannon was able to compose himself and retired the next two batters. Farmville only got one more over the next four innings.
Offensively, the Chargers were unable to get a hit until the fourth inning, despite having five batters walked in the first four innings. In three straight innings, offensive rallies were stopped by double plays.
In the top of the sixth, Cannon balked with a runner on second and two hits. Logan May hit a chopper to shortstop Jackson Upchurch, who safely tossed the runner out to end the threat. Cannon pitched six innings, struck out seven, walked three and gave up four hits.
“If you are a fan of pitching and defense, this was your sort of game,” Farmville coach Eddie Loesner said. “Both teams competed well. There was not a lot of offense tonight. Both teams left too many players stranded on base.”
A pitching change in the bottom of the sixth by Farmville gave the Chargers the chance they had been waiting for. Two singles put runners on with two outs for pinch hitter Brody Wilson, who hit a chopper up the middle and beat out the throw to first. Skinner sent Garrick Johnson, a pinch runner, home, but he was tagged out as he slid across the plate.
An error by the Chargers got the leadoff runner on in the top of the seventh. With two outs and two on, another error on a rushed throw to first base allowed the Jaguars to score. Another run would cross the plate on a bases loaded single two batters later. Austin Jones would pick up the loss after giving up the unearned runs.
The Chargers did not go down quietly. Upchurch reached second after being hit by a pitch for a second time in the game. He advanced to second on a single by Blake McLawhorn. With one out, Jordan Atkinson hit a chopper to the third baseman, who muffed the easy play. He tagged Upchurch on the head, but the umpire initially ruled him safe.
A conference between the umpire and the coaches reversed the call. Jones walked to load the bases and the next batter struck out to end the rally. Tristan Griffin picked up the win in two innings of relief.
“We saw that their batters were getting a too anxious to hit,” Loesner said. “We threw them some enticing pitches to help get some key outs. That worked for us down the stretch.”
Farmville 2, Ayden-Grifton 0
R H E
Jaguars 000 000 2 2 6 2
Chargers 000 000 0 0 7 1