Clark goes the distance against ColumbiaPublished 10:34am Thursday, March 13, 2014
On the back of their undersized left-hander, the Panthers easily took care of Columbia at home on Wednesday, 8-3.
Northside’s Curby Clark toed the rubber for the third time in the young season and shut down the Wildcats’ bats through the first five innings.
“I thought his performance was excellent,” said head coach Gil Robbins. “We hit a little bit of a shaky spot where we felt like he wasn’t controlling his curveball quite where we’d like it, but then we recovered and went right back to ourselves. That’s the way you win games.”
Battling through the inconsistency of the Eastern North Carolina weather, Clark utilized his arsenal of off-speed pitches to force groundballs and ostentatious golf swings from the Wildcat hitters.
Ominous clouds, sporadic rain, blinding sun—it didn’t matter. The Northside senior ignored the erratic natural elements and remained consistent on the rubber.
At the dish, Northside’s lineup supplied Clark with the necessary, and later much needed run support. In the second, sophomore second baseman Jenson Hawkins led off with a booming double down the left field line off Columbia starter Keion Holloway. A single off the end of the bat to the gap in right-center by Caleb Alligood placed two runners in scoring position for junior Adam Cahoon, who delivered with a two-run single up the middle.
“We had a few hits,” Robbins. “When we don’t hit the baseball, it can be frustrating. It makes for a good game and helps keep the players calm. We have young guys and still have a lot to improve upon, but that’s a good way to start.”
The Panthers tagged freshman left-hander Brendan Reynolds for three more runs in the third on three hits, a hit batsman and an error. The five runs would be all Northside starter needed.
Despite allowing three runs on three hits and two walks in the sixth, Clark shut the door on the Wildcats in the seventh. He finished with six strikeouts, allowing just the three runs in the sixth.
An error by the Wildcats’ centerfielder placed Corbin Minor in scoring position for shortstop Ryan Arthur in the bottom of the sixth. The Northside senior came thorough with a double that plated Minor, bolstering the Panthers’ lead to 7-3. Northside picked up one more run in the inning via a wild pitch and an error by the catcher.
Robbins’ team will look to stay hot on the road against Edenton Holmes today at 4:30 p.m.
“Right now we still have a couple of fresh arms,” Robbins said. “Thankfully we had a pitcher go all the way [Tuesday]. Curby went all the way today. For Edenton, we’ll have two fresh arms and a closer.”
The win moves the Panthers to 2-2 on the season.