Woolard throws one-hit shutout to beat Southside
Published 3:19 pm Sunday, April 16, 2017
Northside consistently scratched across runs — scoring in four frames, including twice in the fourth and sixth innings — to earn its 15th win, 6-0, over Southside on Saturday. The 1-A Coastal Plains Conference rivals main evented the opening day of the Washington Easter tournament in a non-conference bout.
Panther pitcher Zach Woolard kept Southside’s offense quiet all evening. He gave up just one hit and walked one in the complete-game shutout.
“We’re not hitting the ball well, so we’re playing small ball,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said. “Moving guys over with traditional baseball. Tonight, we got some big hits when we needed it, but we got some bunts down. … All in all, I’m real proud. We had no errors for the game and Zach Woolard was lights out on the mound.”
Trailing 2-0 after three innings, Southside got to work when Brantley Cutler drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Dahlton O’Neal reached on an error, then stole second to put the tying runs in scoring position with one out.
Woolard stood tall in what proved to be a turning point. He notched one of his six strikeouts, then fielded a grounder back to himself to strand Cutler and O’Neal.
“Zach had a strikeout in the inning, and that was big to hold runners,” Boyd said. “For us to turn around and add on to the lead there, I think it was a big momentum changer.”
Southside coach Kevin McRoy added, “We put the bat on the ball, but we were hitting good, hard shots right to them all night. We couldn’t find the hole tonight. Zach pitched well. I felt like we weren’t aggressive. We were letting him get ahead of us and dictate where and what he wanted to throw.”
Northside turned around and doubled its lead in the bottom of the stanza. Freshman Douglas Dixon drew a leadoff walk and James Barrow followed with a single to shortstop. The Seahawks couldn’t cleanly field Matthew Marslender’s bunt, allowing him to reach and a run to come in. Reg Bishop made it 4-0 with an RBI groundout that scored Barrow.
The Panthers went to work with two outs in the bottom of the first to earn their first run. Parker Boyd reached on an error at shortstop, then took second when the throw to first sailed over the Southside dugout. Tanner Alligood plated him with a base hit through the left side.
Woolard retired the Seahawks in order in the first two innings. Alligood came up with his second RBI single, plating Boyd, who reached on another infield error.
After building their lead to 4-0 in the fourth, the Panthers set the Seahawks down in order in the fifth and sixth innings. They added two more runs on two hits and an error. Bishop’s single to right field plated Barrow, and he came home on Boyd’s RBI double to left.