Warriors down Maiden
The West Caldwell baseball team earned a 4-3 win over Maiden in the first round of the Catawba Valley Easter Classic on Monday in Hickory.
"We shot ourselves in the foot a couple times, but we continued to play," said West head coach Mark Braswell. "At this point in the season some teams kind of hang it up, but I think we're still playing baseball."
Maiden struck first with a solo home run to left field by Aaron Rudisill to put the Devils up 1-0 after the top half of the first inning. The Warriors fired right back in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI single by Madison Cook. Trevor Beane scored on the play after reaching first on a walk.
In the top of the second, West starting pitcher Justin Reece got into trouble after loading the bases on three straight walks with no outs in the inning. This brought on Cook in relief. The first batter Cook faced was Josh Booker, who reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Adam Houston. However, Cook got Randal Ortiz to hit into an inning-ending double play to keep the score at 2-1.
In the bottom of the third, Charlie Mitchell hit a leadoff double and Beane singled to put runners on the corners. Mitchell then scored on a wild pitch and Jacob Dunn hit an RBI single to left to score Beane, giving the Warriors a 3-2 lead.
The Blue Devils came back to tie the game in the top of the fifth after Ortiz led off with a double and was driven in by Luke Setzer. Maiden then got a single by Rudisill and a wild pitch by Cook put runners on second and third with no outs. However, Cook escaped without any more damage by striking out the next three batters.
"He (Cook) did a great job," Braswell said. "He throws strikes and doesn't walk people. He gave us a chance to win at the end."
In the bottom of the fifth, Jay Denny came on to pinch hit for Jackson Cook and led off with a double. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Denny scored on an errant throw to first by the pitcher on a pick-off attempt to put West in the lead for good.
Cook picked up the win for the Warriors. He threw six innings, giving up just one run on six hits, while striking out nine. Ortiz suffered the loss for Maiden. He pitched five innings, giving up four runs on six hits, while striking out 10.
West Caldwell will take on Newton-Conover in the second round of the Catawba Valley Easter Classic tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Hickory.
Maiden - 110-010-0 - 3-7-2
West Caldwell - 102-010-x - 4-7-0
Winning pitcher: Madison Cook (6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K). Losing pitcher: Randal Ortiz (5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 10 K).
Leading hitters: Maiden - Aaron Rudisill 3-4, HR, RBI, R; Luke Setzer 2-4, RBI. West Caldwell - Trevor Beane 1-1, 2 BB, 2 R; Charlie Mitchell 2-4, 2B, R; Jay Denny 1-2, 2B, R.