Washington tops Beddingfield, stays perfect in conference

Published 9:01 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Washington strung together four runs in the third inning of Wednesday’s contest against Beddingfield to cruise to a 5-1 win. Chris Sulc had a double, then an RBI groundout in the fifth that plated Matt Black. His three RBI helped the Pam Pack take advantage of opportunities when runners were tough to come by.

Meanwhile, Tripp Barfield neutralized the visiting Bruins throughout. He had a perfect game going into the sixth, gave up just two hits and an unearned run

“Tripp threw well. He didn’t make our defense work too much,” coach Kevin Leggett said. Barfield fanned 11 Bruins and only faced 25 in the game. “He got ground balls and the defense was behind him. The defense has been playing a lot better, and that gives pitchers a whole lot more confidence.”

With that, the Pam Pack improves to 5-0 in the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference. The wins have come in varying ways. Washington opened league competition with a home-and-home series against Farmville Central. It won both games by one-run, including an eight-inning affair in Farmville on March 21.

Its next series was a two-game set with North Pitt. Washington blanked the Panthers in both outings, winning by a combined 13-0 margin.

“I think it gets us ready for whatever game we may see,” Leggett said. “A team goes through winning every game by five or six runs, they’re not prepared to battle back. We’ve had a good sequence games where we’ve had to see different things and come through different kinds of adversity. I think it helps us get prepared for the meat of the conference season.”

The Pam Pack makes the trek to Wilson on Friday to complete its two-game slate with the Bruins. It takes a break from conference play after that to host its Easter tournament starting next Friday.

League play resumes on April 25 when Washington hosts North Johnston, which is also undefeated in the EPC through four games. That series will likely determine first place.

The Pam Pack has made an impressive turnaround since beginning the conference stretch. It loaded its non-conference schedule with stout clubs in Rose, Riverside and Ayden-Grifton. It took a 3-5 ledger into its EPC opener against the Jaguars.

Washington committed 14 errors in those five non-conference losses.

Some games were cleaner than others. While the Pam Pack committed five errors in lopsided losses to Riverside and Rose, it only committed one error in a 3-2 loss at home to Beaufort County rival Northside. That one miscue proved costly as it let the Panthers score the tying run in a three-run frame that won them the game.

“I was waiting for it,” Leggett said of the turnaround. “I knew we were better than that. I’m just glad we’re finally showing it.”