RAMSEUR — Carolina took advantage of six walks and a pair of Piedmont errors to tally seven runs in the bottom of the first while Jordan Blalock and Caleb Staley combined to strike out 14 Whitetail …
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RAMSEUR — Carolina took advantage of six walks and a pair of Piedmont errors to tally seven runs in the bottom of the first while Jordan Blalock and Caleb Staley combined to strike out 14 Whitetail batters as the Coyotes breezed to an 11-5 Old North State League triumph Wednesday evening at I. Fletcher Craven Stadium.
Every Carolina starter scored at least once as the winners raised their record to 2-1 in the league standings, while Piedmont remained winless after two outings.
Blalock tossed six innings to pick up the win, giving up six hits and five earned runs while issuing four free passes and whiffing six, before Staley came on to hurl three hitless frames in relief, fanning eight.
Darden Eure rapped three hits and drove in a pair of runs to lead the Coyotes’ offensive attack, while Tyler Dodson and Kevin Greenwood collected two hits apiece and combined to drive in four runs.
“I thought Jordan threw a great game for his first outing of the season, while Staley came in and showed a lot of confidence by attacking batters and filling the strike zone,” said Carolina coach Riley Nelson.
“We hit the ball well tonight and took advantage of opportunities by being aggressive on the bases and moving people over, while Tyler Dodson had a good game behind the plate with his glove,” Nelson said.
Whitetails’ starter Jeb Byerly, who went two innings and sustained the defeat, gave up seven runs (four earned) despite allowing only one hit while issuing nine walks and striking out four.
Relievers Grey Laspaluto and Colton Lineman each threw three innings in relief, surrendering a combined eight hits and four earned runs besides walking four and fanning a dozen.
McKenzie Marco and Ethan Lageson registered two hits apiece to pace Piedmont’s offense.
“Our starter struggled to find the strike zone at the outset, but it was a close game after that,” remarked Whitetails’ coach Christian Snider. “We had some good at-bats and played hard, but the deficit we put ourselves in at the beginning was just too much to overcome.”
The Coyotes fashioned a seven-run advantage their initial turn at the plate as Tyler Myers, Cort Maynard, Vinny Consolo and Greenwood all walked in succession to force in the game’s first run prior to Maynard dashing home on a wild pitch before Dodson lined a two-run single up the alley in right-center but was thrown out at second trying to stretch his hit into a double.
Following free passes issued to Cameron Wells and Tyson Measamer that put runners on first and second, both came in to score on a throwing error that allowed Eure to circle the bases and account for the seventh run.
Piedmont picked up a solo run in the top of the third when Marco slammed a two-out opposite-field double to right and came around to score on a pair of wild pitches.
The Whitetails trimmed the margin to 7-2 in the visitors’ fourth when Lageson stroked a leadoff opposite-field double to the left field fence, moved to third on a fly-out and came home on Matthew Bryant’s sacrifice fly to left.
Carolina increased its lead to 9-2 in the bottom of the fifth as Measamer drew a full-count walk with one away and went to second when Adam Dossenbach was hit by a pitch.
After Eure singled to center to bring in Measamer and send Dossenbach to third, Myers plated the latter with an opposite-field base hit to right.
Piedmont rallied in the top of the sixth to close the gap to 9-5 as Lageson led off the frame by walloping a 2-2 offering from Blalock over the right field fence for his first round-tripper of the season.
Trevor Fluke then coaxed a full-count walk and advanced to second on Bryant’s base hit up the middle.
After both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, J.T. Johnson brought in Fluke with a sacrifice fly to center that allowed Bryant to advance to third before coming in to score one out later on Marco’s infield hit. But the Coyotes would wrap up their victory in the home half of the sixth as Greenwood belted a leadoff double up the alley in left-center and tallied on Dodson’s opposite-field single to right.
Following walks to Wells and Measamer that loaded the bases, Eure plated the game’s final run one out later with an infield hit.