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Chargers win, Jags fall at Ray Avery Tourney

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Ayden-Grifton pitcher Austin Jones pumps his fist after getting the game-ending strikeout in the Chargers' 2-0 victory Tuesday over Croatan in the Ray Avery Tournament at Ayden-Grifton

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By JORDAN ANDERS
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

LITTLEFIELD — Ayden-Grifton’s baseball team may not have been able to extend its streak of four straight tournament titles in the Ray Avery Easter Tournament this season, but the Chargers played their cleanest game of the tournament on its final day.

For a team that entered Tuesday looking to get back to .500, head coach Corey Skinner will take it.

A-G pitcher Austin Jones allowed three hits in a complete-game shutout to help carry the Chargers to a 2-0 victory over Croatan that evened their season record at 10-10. Ayden-Grifton finished 2-1 in the tournament, which was won by Roanoke Rapids.

In the first two games, the Chargers committed a total of eight errors, including six Monday in a loss to Bear Grass Charter. Tuesday’s effort proved to be the tidiest of the tournament, with A-G committing just one error and out-hitting Croatan 6-3.

“We played clean, and that was good to see us play a clean game, not take ourselves out of it defensively and give our pitcher a chance,” Skinner said. “Not the greatest offensively, but (Croatan pitcher John Keel) was good, and it was good to see us play that well and find a way to score runs against a really good pitcher.”

Ayden-Grifton had its chances to break through early on, stranding a runner at third in the first inning and leaving a pair on base in the third. It wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth that Dakota DeLisi reached and took second on a throwing error, then advanced to third on a groundout by Timon Harris.

Josh Harris legged out a single in the next at-bat, scoring DeLisi to make it 1-0. Jones drove in his own insurance run in the next inning, scoring Jackson Upchurch on a sacrifice fly to right field.

Jones retired the first 10 batters he saw and faced four over the minimum. His only two strikeouts were the first and last outs of the game, the latter of which saw Jones pump his fist as he walked off the mound after clinching the victory.

“He’s been getting better every outing he’s had,” Skinner said of Jones, a sophomore. “He’s getting more and more comfortable and he’s able to throw three pitches for strikes, and that’s huge. When you can do that and throw strikes in any count, he really kept them off balance, so I thought it was an outstanding effort.”

Bear Grass Charter 12, Farmville Central 0

A four-run second inning set Bear Grass Charter on its way to a six-inning, run-rule victory over Farmville Central.

The Jaguars (4-16) won their opening game of the Avery Tournament, beating Pamlico 6-3, but in their final two showings, they were outscored 22-0 in losses to Roanoke Rapids and BGC.

“We saw some good things and some bad things, and saw some things we’ve got to work on,” FC coach Eddie Rhodes said. “We’ve just got to do a better job at everything.”

Farmville Central trailed 1-0 after the first, but the Bears took control with four runs in the second that chased FC starter Bradley Shackelford. Bear Grass Charter blew it open in the fourth with four more runs off a bases-loaded walk and a three-run double that made it 9-0.

Contact Jordan Anders at janders@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 or follow @ReflectorJordan on Twitter.

J.H. ROSE 10, NORTH LENOIR 4

JHR...021 142 0—10 14 1

NL...000 202 0—4 4 3

WP — Ross Johnson.

Leading hitters: JHR — Greg Hardison 3-3; Robby Wacker 2-3; Roman Galaska 2-3.

Record: JHR 17-2.

Up next: Topsail at JHR on Wednesday.

WEST CRAVEN 1, NORTH PITT 0

WC...001 000 0—1 7 0

NP...000 000 0—0 6 0

WP — S. Bland. LP — Trey Jernigan.

Leading hitters: NP — Phillip Boykin 2-4; Trey Jernigan 2-3; Hunter Phelps 1-3; C.J. Forrest 1-4.

Record: NP 11-9.

Up next: NP at Farmville Central on Tuesday.

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