Pack drops CCSSL opener

Published 4:12 pm Thursday, June 16, 2011

Washington pitcher Will Phelps (15) delivers a pitch during the Pam Pack's 12-8 loss to Clayton Wednesday at Washington High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Led by a powerful offense that blasted three home runs, Clayton was able to power past Washington 12-8 in the Pam Pack’s first Central Carolina Summer Scholastic League (CCSSL) game of the season on Wednesday.
The CCSSL is designed to give both current and aspiring prep players a chance to stay sharp during the summer while providing a chance for those players to get better at their position or try new ones.
On Wednesday, the Washington players participated in their first game in over a month and it showed as the Pam Pack did not get a hit off of Comets’ starter Michael Haddix until the fourth inning.
Washington quickly fell behind 6-0 as Clayton, a 4-A school located near Raleigh, scored one run in the first, two in the second and three in the third off Pack starter Will Phelps.
Phelps, a rising junior who played first base for most of his sophomore year, finished the game throwing four full innings and allowed six runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking three.
Rising senior Avery Woolard took the hill after Phelps and surrendered six runs in three innings while allowing five hits. Woolard also fanned three batters and walked three.
“We put them both on pitch counts. Will Phelps was on a 70-pitch count and Avery was on a 40(-pitch count),” Washington coach Matt Burnett said. “We took away the game situations and just said that you are out here for this pitch count: good, bad, ugly, whatever’s going on. Doing that gives us a chance to evaluate those guys. We saw some good things and we saw some things that we can teach and build upon like keeping the ball down and things of that nature.
“I think they both did a fantastic job. They both understand that they can’t keep the ball up and what better tool to teach a kid (then in a game situation). You can talk to a kid all you want in the bullpen about not letting the ball get up but when a guy scrambles (the pitch): there’s your tool … But you know what, that’s baseball and I would much rather do it now than in the spring.”
The Comets scrambled three pitches as Hogan Teem drilled a two-run home run to right in the second inning, Brett Bailey knocked a solo shot in the third and Haddix smashed a three-run round-tripper to left during a six-run fifth inning that ended with Clayton holding a 12-3 lead.
After struggling through the first three innings, Washington rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Two of those runs came courtesy of Phelps, who blasted a two-run homer left field.
The Pam Pack scored two more runs in the fifth and another two in the sixth as it cut the Comets’ lead to 12-7 in the final inning. Washington would tack on one more run but its hot finish could not make up for its cold start.
“I told our guys that we haven’t seen live pitching in a month, so I knew the first three innings we would not swing the bats well,” Burnett said. “But it’s like riding a bike and a week from now we will be a better team at the plate because we will have seem some live pitching … The goal here is to get better and really teach these guys and help them understand how to play the game, not so much between the lines, but between the ears.”

Clayton 123 060 0 — 12 9 6
Washington 000 322 1 — 8 7 2
WP: Michael Haddix; LP: Will Phelps
Hitting: C – Will Greene 1-2 (2 R), Matt Bien 2-3, Brody Sanders 1-2, Nathan Lee 1-4 (RBI), Tyler Keele 1-1 (2B, 2 RBI), Brett Bailey 2-2 (HR, 2 RBI), Corey Shirk 1-2, Hogan Teem 1-2 (HR, 2 RBI), Michael Haddix 1-4 (HR, 3 RBI); W – Isiah Taylor 1-2 (RBI), Austin Mitchell 2-3 ®, Will Phelps 1-4 (HR, 2 RBI), Ryan Hardison 1-3 ®, Trey Brunson 1-2.