Southside, Northside notch Invitational wins

Published 2:50 pm Saturday, March 29, 2008

By By AARON CARPENTER, Staff Correspondent
YEATESVILLE — In the first game of the inaugural WDN/Northside Easter Baseball Invitational the Southside Seahawks defeated the Halifax Academy Vikings in eight innings Friday night, 11-10.
The game was a back and forth affair, but after watching a two run lead disappear in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at nine, Southside was able to get two more runs across in the top of the eighth to take an 11-9 lead. Friday marked the first win of the season for the Seahawks (1-4, 0-3).
Jamie Blackard, who came on in relief of Seahawks’ starter Sam Jarman at the end of the fourth inning, pitched the rest of the way for Southside. After allowing a run to the Vikings’ Chris Clay in the bottom of the eighth, making the score 11-10, Blackard retired the final two batters to preserve the win.
Southside started the game off with three runs in the first inning, only to see the lead fall as Halifax (1-6, 0-0) scored four in its half of the inning.
Both pitchers seemed to settle down after the first, and the second and third innings went by with no change in the score.
Southside found its offense again in the top of the fourth, using three hits, a sacrifice fly and a walk to score three more runs to take a 6-4 lead.
The Vikings apparently took Southside’s scoring as an invitation to begin scoring again themselves. After Jarman struck out Halifax’s Matthew Inscue to start the home half of the fourth, three of the next four Vikings crossed home plate to retake the one-point lead.
There was another two inning break from scoring before Southside came out in the top of the seventh to face Clay, who had pitched the whole way for Halifax and was already up to 94 pitches.
The Seahawks were able to take advantage of the fatigued Clay, notching three runs in their half of the inning, two of which came from catcher Kevin Sparks’ double into deep center.
In the bottom of the eighth, Brett Love of Halifax knocked in two runs of his own to tie the game up and send it into extra innings.
The first two batters for Southside reached safely in the top of the eighth, Josh Sheppard on a strikeout that got away from the catcher and Alan Hobbs on a throwing error from Clay. Sheppard scored on the throwing error and Hobbs came around on a sacrifice fly from Eric Boyd.
The Vikings got one run back in the last half of the inning, but it wasn’t enough to keep the game going, and the Seahawks survived to take on Northside Saturday night at 9 p.m.
The Northside Panthers also won Friday night, but in decidedly different fashion. The Panthers whipped up on Northampton-East, winning 10-0 in five innings before the game was called because of the mercy rule.
Starting pitcher Tyler Woolard of Northside allowed only one hit over the first four innings, and Colby Mason spurred on the Panther offense by being only a home run short of hitting for the cycle. In doing so, he also scored two runs and drove in two.
Most of the rest of the team was in on the offense as well, and Southside got multiple runs across the plate in every inning.
Fielding and pitching difficulties were what led to the Rams’ demise. Starter Matt Murphy had difficulty finding the plate and when he did, the Panthers took advantage by spraying the ball to all fields. The defense behind Murphy wasn’t of much help, committing several throwing and fielding errors that helped Northside stay in innings.
SOUTHSIDE — 300 300 32 — 11
HALIFAX COUNTY — 400 300 21 — 10
Winning pitcher: Jamie Blackard; Losing pitcher: Chris Clay
Leading hitters: SS — Kevin Sparks 3-5 (3 RBI, 2 R), Sam Jarman 2-5 (RBI, R), Jamie Blackard 2-4 (2 R), Alan Hobbs 1-4 (RBI), Brad Boyd 1-4 (RBI), Alarie Elks 1-4 (RBI, R); HC — Kyle Salmon 2-4 (2 R), Matthew Inscue 1-4 (RBI), Patrick Smith 1-4 (RBI, R), Josh Moore 1-5 (2 RBI, R), Chris Clay 1-4 (RBI, 2 R), Lewis Ganger 1-5 (RBI), Matthew Clay 3-5 (2 RBI, 2 R), Brett Love 1-5 (2 RBI, R)
NORTHSIDE — 332 2XX X — 10
Winning pitcher: Tyler Woolard; Losing pitcher: Matt Murphy
Leading hitters: NE — Latreal Ashe 1-2; NS — Sonny Robbins 1-3, Colby Mason 3-3 (2 RBI, 2 R), Tyler Woolard 2-3 (RBI, 2 R), Zach Boyd 1-2 (RBI, 2 R), Dee Martin 2-2 (2 R)