Pam Pack tops Eagles on diamond

Published 5:25 pm Saturday, April 25, 2009

By By GREG KATSKI, Staff Writer
The Washington baseball team took advantage of some shoddy fielding by Coastal Conference foe West Craven in route to a 11-2 win at Futrell Field on Friday night.
The Pam Pack (10-6, 5-5) took revenge on the Eagles, who clobbered Washington in Vanceboro, 22-10, earlier in the season. The Pam Pack has now split with three conference teams on the season — West Craven, South Central and D.H. Conley.
Washington head coach Darin Vaughan said his guys knew the importance of beating the Eagles.
The Pam Pack made West Craven pay for some costly errors from the outset of the game.
Speedy third baseman Jake Duke led off the bottom of the first inning by reaching first on an error by the Eagles’ shortstop. He advanced to second on a passed ball, and made it to third on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Everette.
Duke made a mistake of his own when he was gunned down at the plate trying to score from third on a tapper to the pitcher by Austin Thompson. Washington cleanup hitter David Tyson followed with an unconventional infield single, and Thompson went to third as the Eagles’ tried to get Tyson at first.
Then came West Craven first big blunder of the game. Starting pitcher Cody Wetherington balked trying to look off Thompson at third, and Thompson strolled home for Washington’s first run of the game.
The Eagles would make things interesting in the top of the second as they got on Pam Pack starting pitcher Hatteras Brooks early.
After a smooth first inning, Brooks surrendered a leadoff double to Ryan Miller. Ryan Ramsey quickly followed with a single through the right side of the Pam Pack infield, scoring Miller.
Travis French continued the hitting with a single, before Brooks was able to get two outs with no further damage done.
Eagles leadoff hitter Jordan Nobles, facing Brooks his second time, lined a single to left field.
Washington left fielder Jimmy Hardison came up throwing and nailed Ramsey at home for a superb outfield assist.
The Pam Pack got rolling again in the bottom of the third thanks to some more leadoff magic from Duke.
Duke took an offering from Wetherington and smacked it over the West Craven left fielder’s head. He scurried around the bases for his first inside-the-park homerun for the Pam Pack, cheered on by a large, loyal contingent of Washington fans.
Everette followed Duke with a gaper of his own, legging out a triple off the Eagles’ Wetherington, but was stranded at third base when Thompson, Tyson and Justin Meekins failed to drive him in.
The Pam Pack broke the game wide open in the bottom of the fourth as Wetherington lost his command.
Gator Moore walked to start the inning, and after a pair of strikeouts by Gil Broadway and Weasel Moore, Hardison got on with a walk.
Duke stepped to the plate, threatening to start a two-out rally and did just that. He laced a line drive single, scoring Gator and moving Hardison to third. Duke advanced to second on a throwing error.
After Everette was intentionally walked, Thompson followed with an infield fly misplayed by West Craven’s first baseman.
The sky high fly scored Hardison and Duke, and moved Everette to third.
Tyson followed with a fly ball misplayed by the Eagles’ left fielder, scoring Everette and Thompson in the process. The two blunders proved costly, as they led to four runs and put the Pam Pack up 7-1.
Washington would get four more runs on some sloppy fielding by the Eagles, and win the game 11-2.
After the game, Vaughan said his team’s 11-run outburst was helped in a big way by the work of Duke and Everette at the plate.
On the night, Duke went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs, while Everette did his part for the Pam Pack, going 1-for-3 with a triple, a sacrifice bunt, an intentional walk and a run scored.
The Washington coach was also proud of Brooks, who settled down after giving up an early run in the second.
And at an alarming rate, according to Vaughan, who said his young starting pitcher threw 72 pitches, 52 for strikes.
Vaughan took Brooks out after going 5 1/3 innings, giving up a lone run.
The Pam Pack return to action on Tuesday as they travel to J.H. Rose. Washington will be looking for another conference series split after losing its first game to the Rampants.