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Panthers cruise over Falcons, 10-0

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North Pitt High School player Jacob Peaden pitches during a game against Riverside Monday, April 2, 2018.

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, March 21, 2019

BETHEL — Despite the wet conditions, North Pitt had no trouble dispatching of South Central at home Thursday evening, winning 10-0 in five innings.

The Panthers (10-0) were led from the mound by Davidson commit Jacob Peaden, who continues to impress in his senior season. He went five innings, yielding just four hits and struck out eight without walking a batter.

Offensively, North Pitt took control early, as James Strickland’s single brought home Hunter Forrest in the first inning. The rest of the order continued to take advantage, as the Falcons failed to find answer to stop the red-hot Panthers.

Ruban Beltran and Matthew Bailey finished 3-for-3 at the plate for North Pitt, while Gentry Green, Forrest and Strickland added two hits apiece. Peaden also had a strong night on at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Tripp and Forrest stole two bases each.

Panthers coach Ryan Meadows was proud of how his team played on a wet night.

“It all started on the mound,” Meadows said. “I thought Jacob did a good job. He commanded three pitches and gave us a chance to win. Our guys did a good job of staying down on balls, using the fundamentals and helping their pitcher out.”

Meadows also praised his team’s offensive performance.

“Offensively I think you can’t say enough about the way we fought top to bottom,” Meadows said. “We grinded out at-bats and really did a good job at hitting what the pitchers did in certain counts and passing information along, which is what we’re big on. The guys did a great job.”

The mood in the opposite dugout was not so positive. The Falcons (2-7, 2-2) managed only four hits on the night, coming from Joshua James (1-2), Ryan Hodges (2-2) and Ty Colemore (1-2). South Central coach Pat McRae was frustrated with his team’s performance all-around.

“We have to have a better approach at the plate,” McRae said. “Peaden was pretty good tonight, he was mid-80s all night throwing the fastball. Early in the game we have to recognize that he’s throwing fastballs for a strike and we have to be more aggressive to hit him. We have to throw more strikes as a pitching staff.”

Tonight, the Panthers will travel to face Bertie, while South Central travels to face C.B. Aycock.

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

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