Young Pam Pack downs Southwest Edgecombe in extras

Published 10:33 am Monday, April 27, 2015

CONTRIBUTED WHAT A RELIEF: Sophomore Logan Little pitches during an extra-inning win over Southwest Edgecombe on Friday.

WHAT A RELIEF: Sophomore Logan Little pitches during an extra-inning win over Southwest Edgecombe on Friday.



All year long, the young Washington Pam Pack baseball team has competed hard, and has been in many close, exciting games, only to see their fortunes turn south, losing close game after close game. Not this time. Not Friday night in Pinetops.

The youthful Pam Pack starting nine earned perhaps its most impressive win of the year, beating the Southwest Edgecombe Cougars, 6-5, in 10 innings.

As in many earlier games this year, the Washington staked itself to a lead, only to have the home-standing Cougars battle back to tie the score. This time though, the Pack held off several Cougar threats, scratched out the necessary run, then shut the door for the win. With the win, the Pack moved to 2-4 in conference play and 3-12 overall.

The Pack struck first with two runs in the second inning. Tripp Barfield reached on an error and Matt Black reached on a fielder’s choice. Both Barfield and Black scored after a Tyler Moore base hit, Jamond Ebron was hit by a pitch and a sacrifice. The Pack struck for three more in the top of the third when Neil Jennings walked, Logan Little reached on an error and Nick Everett was hit by a pitch. All three Pack base runners scored behind a Barfield fielder’s choice and a Black single, staking the Pack to a 5-0 lead.

As has happened several times this year, the opponent, this time the Cougars, mounted a comeback.   The Cougars scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth off of starter Patrick Thompson on two base hits, a walk and a sacrifice. The Cougars struck again to tie the score at five runs apiece in the bottom of the fifth off of a hit batter, a Pack error, a walk and two base hits. With one out, coach Kevin Leggett turned to his young bullpen and brought in sophomore Logan Little with one out and a runner on third.  Little ended the threat on a strike out and pop fly.

After striking out the side in the bottom of the sixth, Little worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings. Little also worked out of a jam in the bottom of the ninth when a single turned into a man on third with one out. Little induced two pop flies to end the threat.

The Pack struck for the winning run in the top of the 10th frame when Black singled and scored behind a Fredrick Holscher single, and two fielder’s choice chances by Jamond Ebrom and Cody Godley. Logan closed out the Cougars in the bottom of the 10th behind a fly ball and two strikeouts.

Little was spectacular in his 5.2 innings of relief pitching, yielding three hits, allowed three walks and striking out seven Cougar batters to earn his first Pam Pack win. Little continually pounded the strike zone with a lively fastball and an effective curveball.

They say that the maturation process takes time, and if so, the young Pack took a huge step forward. A good example was the play of sophomore catcher Nate Rader. Rader was pressed into service this year due to a season-ending injury to incumbent senior catcher Bradley Smith. Against the Cougars, Rader stepped up and made several huge effort plays, which helped bale the Pack out of some sticky situations. Rader made a step forward for the Pack and the results are showing.

The Pack has an opportunity to increase its win total next week as they take on conference foe Beddingfield at home on Tuesday night.