Arthur strikes out 15 Seahawks in Northside win
Published 12:21 am Saturday, April 12, 2014
Senior Ryan Arthur has been an irrefutable workhorse for head coach Gil Robbins’ Panthers. He leads his team and the Coastal Plains Conference in average, RBI and on-base percentage. He’s one of three Northside players to play in all 13 games and has pitched the majority of the innings for his team.
On Friday, the lengthy right-hander toed the rubber for his sixth start this season, and had one of the most memorable pitching performances in recent memory, as the Panthers defeated their cross-county rival, Southside, 9-2.
“He was throwing well,” Robbins said. We expect that from him and tonight … he was on his game.”
It didn’t take long for fans to realize the Northside ace was locked in. From the start, Arthur located his fastball, mixed speeds and kept his pitch count low. Through the first three innings, he allowed one base runner and struck out six.
Southside sophomore Terry Moore, who has yet to find a consistent rhythm on the mound this season, struggled with his command and threw around 20 pitches in the first inning alone. After administering a quick run, he settled down in the second and retired the side, but two walks and singles from junior Adam Cahoon and sophomore Cole Baynor resulted in another run in the third.
In the next frame, the Seahawks’ lineup finally came through for its young starter. Senior Alex Graves led off with a single and sophomore Dylan Lewis followed suit a batter later. Arthur retired the next two batters on seven pitches, but an error at first base plated both Graves and Lewis to tie the game at two. Senior Austin Nobles, who reached on the error, would be the last Seahawk to touch first base.
Putting the defensive blunder behind him, Arthur was simply unhittable over the final three frames. On just 28 pitches, he retired the final nine batters of the game in order. He threw three balls over that stretch.
And the Northside offense backed its ace by staying patient at the plate. A handful of walks and two critical errors by the Southside infield led to a six-run fourth inning for the Panthers, giving Arthur more than enough run support to close the deal and lock up his third win of the season.
“We didn’t come out on top yesterday, but we brought it back today. I’m proud of them,” Robbins said. “They hit the ball well and I think we only had three Ks on the night. You put nine runs on the board and there’s a good chance you win the ballgame.”
Arthur allowed just two runs, none earned, on four hits and struck out a career-high 15 Seahawks. Robbins believes the dominant pitching performance will provide his team with the boost needed to bounce back and make a run in the conference.
“That’s the nature of the game. We’re always looking to go on a run, and we see ourselves in that position now,” Robbins said. “We have most of the front side of the bracket complete. Now, we’re looking at the backside. We finished a tough road swing, and now we have a series of games at home. If we can put those together, I think we’ll be there in the end.”
With the win, the Panthers improve their record to 6-8 (3-3 Eastern Plains). Northside will host East Carteret next Thursday.