Seahawks sink Pirates

Published 6:07 pm Wednesday, April 29, 2009

By By GREG KATSKI, Staff Writer
CHOCOWINITY — Southside baseball head coach Red Lewis said he doesn’t know what to expect from his guys night in and night out. On Tuesday he got a strong pitching effort from staff ace Eric Boyd and some major production from the bottom of the lineup, as the Seahawks beat Perquimans 8-6.
The Seahawks (10-8, 7-4) seemed destined for another letdown against a strong Atlantic conference foe when the Pirates took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
After striking out Perquimans leadoff hitter Brandon Winslow, Boyd issued a walk to Robert Jarot, who scored on a hit by Pirates shortstop John Hunter. Cleanup hitter Dustin Spruill followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Hunter.
Lewis thought he would have to yank his ace early in the game after struggling in the first.
The Seahawks bailed Boyd out in the bottom of the frame after he got on with a leadoff single to start the inning.
Brad Boyd followed by making it to first on an error by the Pirates’ third baseman. After a Jamie Blackard pop out, cleanup hitter Alarie Elks brought in the Boyd boys with a double that stretched the gap in left-center field.
Elks got caught in a rundown on the play and was tagged out at second.
Eric Boyd found himself in trouble again in the second after giving up a single and issuing three straight walks, but got out of the inning giving up a lone run.
Hunter, up for the second time in two innings, took a walk from Eric Boyd with the bases-loaded, putting the Pirates up 3-2.
After a quick top of the third inning, the Seahawks got to Pirates starting pitcher Robert Jacot in a big way.
Brad Boyd started Southside’s hit parade with a double down the third base line. Elks followed with a scorching line drive single, moving Boyd to third. Sam Jarman hit a single up the middle to drive in Boyd and move Elks to second. With runners on first and second, Kevin Sparks hit a slow roller to Perquimans shortstop Hunter, who had no play.
Scrappy second baseman Ryan McLawhorn drew a walk to score a run and tie the game at 3-3.
Realizing it was such a critical spot in the game, the Perquimans head coach pulled Jarot and brought in relief pitcher Collin Perry to squander the Seahawks rally.
Southside’s No. 9 hitter, Willie Ruffin, stepped to the plate to face Perry with two outs, the bases loaded and the game tied 3-3.
And he delivered, laying into a Perry delivery and sending it down the third base line.
As Jarman, Sparks and McLawhorn scored, Ruffin motored into third.
Ruffin finished the game 2-for-3 with a single, double, three RBIs and a run scored.
After the game, Lewis said Ruffin might not be batting last for long.
Ruffin gave credit to the Seahawks coaching staff for his late-season offensive turnaround.
The Seahawks tacked on two more runs in the inning off of Perry, making the game 8-3.
In the top of the fifth, the Pirates made the game interesting again when they scored three on Eric Boyd.
The Seahawks starting pitcher seemed to be wearing thin during the fifth, but toughed out the inning for a complete game. He gave up six runs in seven innings of work.
After the game, Lewis said he was satisfied with his team’s effort and is enthusiastic about the chance to make the playoffs.
The Seahawks square off against Atlantic Conference basement dwellers Roanoke on Friday at 7 p.m.