Eagles advance

Published 9:28 am Monday, May 14, 2012

LASKER — Ryan Williams pitched a four-hit shutout, homered, doubled and singled with three RBIs.

Williams’ work was in addition to Justin Williford’s two two-out clutch hits and four RBIs to lead the number seven seed Northeast Academy Eagles over the number 10 seed Royals of Burlington Christian Academy 11-0 here Saturday afternoon in first round action of the North Carolina Independent High Schools State Tournament.

Tyler Rackely led off the game and was safe on an error.  He was promptly erased trying to steal second as Eagles’ catcher Willie Rose threw a strike to second and second baseman Brad Johnson applied the tag.  After a strikeout and ground out, the Eagles came to bat.

Williams led off for the Eagles and, on a 3-0 pitch, hit a towering homerun over the right fielder’s head giving the Eagles the only run they would need.

Rose followed with a single. Clay Robbins lined a single up the middle that was bobbled by the center fielder. Courtesy runner Conner Hurdle sought to make it to third on the bobble, but was thrown out with Robbins moving to second on the throw to third.

Will Glover followed with a one-out RBI-double scoring Robbins.

Glover advanced to third on a pick-off throw that went astray.  Logan Simonowich then drew a walk and promptly stole second putting runners at second and third with one out.

Both runners held as Johnson grounded out to the third baseman.  Williford then came to the plate and on the first pitch delivered the first of his two-out hits lining a double to left center scoring both Glover and Simonowich. The inning ended with Northeast holding a 4-0 lead.

The Royals were unable to score in the second despite two hits as the Eagles came to bat in the bottom of the second.

The Eagles put one more run on the board as Williams led off with a double and Robbins delivered a one out RBI-single.

The Royals’ Brandon Camone led off the third with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and then was picked off by Eagles catcher Rose. The Eagles also failed to score leaving the Eagles with a 5-0 lead.

The fourth inning saw Williams again shut down the Royal offense as all they could muster was a two-out walk.

The fourth inning saw the Eagles put the game away.  Robbins got the inning started with a one-out double. Glover drew a walk. Simonowich followed with a single loading the bases.

Following a strike-out, Williford again came to bat with two out and delivered a two-run single to left scoring Robbins and Glover.  Trey Futrell followed with an RBI-single.  Another run scored on a Royals’ error before Williams delivered a two-RBI single to close out the scoring.

As the fourth inning came to a close, the Eagles held an 11-0 lead.

The Royals tried to mount a comeback in the top of the fifth as Jonathan Fuller led off with a walk and Justin McAllister followed with an infield single, putting runners on first and second with no outs.

A fielder’s choice grounder erased McAllister at second with Fuller advancing to third.  A strikeout put Williams and the Eagles within one out of advancing to the second round.  And that out was secured on a groundout to Robbins at first giving the host team the 11-0 victory.

Williford gave credit to a couple of his teammates for his offensive output.

“Ryan and Clay helped me with some extra batting practice in the cage and it paid off on the field,” he said after the game.

Williams said, “The arm felt good.  My curve and fastball were both working good together.  We had a good week of practice and were able to carry it over to the game.”

The Eagles move on to face number two seed Greenfield at Wilson’s Fleming Stadium on Tuesday evening.