Seahawks ousted by Bulldogs|Southside can’t dig out of early hole

Published 8:49 pm Friday, May 15, 2009

Staff Writer

CHOCOWINITY — The Southside baseball team’s historic season came to an anticlimactic end on a rainy, somber Thursday night. The Seahawks (13-9) got in an early 6-0 hole to the Princeton Bulldogs (10-14) and couldn’t muster enough runs for a comeback, falling 11-4.
The loss capped off a special season for the Seahawks, who made it to the playoffs for the first time in program history, and took the Atlantic Conference title and a No. 1 seed in the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s Class 1-A state playoffs with an exhilarating win over the Williamston Tigers on Saturday.
The Seahawks were led all season by starting seniors Eric Boyd, Brad Boyd, Jamie Blackard, Alarie Elks, Kevin Sparks and Ryan McLawhorn.
“I think we had a special group of guys this year,” said Blackard, who has been starting at shortstop for the Seahawks since his freshman year. “We all had hopes and dreams of taking it a lot farther than this, but like everyone has said, we can’t hang out heads but so much.”
“It still hurts to walk off like this,” he added.
The Seahawks fell behind early, when the Bulldogs plated three runs in the top of the first inning.
Southside’s starting pitcher Brad Boyd hit Patrick Jacob to start the game. Adam Peedin followed with a double, scoring Jacobs. After striking Benton Myers on a nasty curveball, Boyd gave up a single to Dillon Daughtry, which plated Peedin.
Daughtry came around to score the third run of the inning from second base on a passed ball.
The Bulldogs went back to work in the top of the second when No. 9 hitter Phillip Mitchell led off with a single, stole second on the next pitch and moved to third on a Jacobs single. Peedin followed with a double to center, scoring Mitchell and Jacobs.
Myers hit a triple, scoring Peedin, before Southside’s Boyd was removed from the game for Eric Boyd. Eric Boyd gave up a sacrifice fly to Daughtry, which plated Myers.
For the game, Eric Boyd pitched six innings, giving up five runs, six hits and seven walks with seven strikeouts. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate, with two singles and a run scored.
In the bottom of the second the Seahawks chipped into the lead when Elks hit a leadoff triple and scored on a fielder’s choice.
Southside had a real scoring chance in the bottom of the third after Eric Boyd singled off of Bulldogs starting pitcher Andrew Clough with two outs. He moved to third on the play on a throwing error by Princeton’s left fielder. Clough walked Brad Boyd, Blackard and Elks, before getting Sam Jarman to groundout, putting the score at 7-2.
After the game, Blackard spoke about his whirlwind senior season.
“Overall, satisfaction is probably the word for the season,” he said.
Fellow senior and four-year starter Eric Boyd said his senior teammates were more like brothers than teammates.
“We’ve come such a long way in four years,” he said. “This year, all we’ve done is exceed expectations.”