Beldon, Danville blank Boyle 3-0

May 26, 2004|MARTY WARREN

Danville wanted to prove to everyone that its win over Boyle County during the regular season wasn't a fluke.

After scoring three runs in the first inning to take a 3-0 lead, the Admirals let their gloves do their talking the rest of the way.

Ronnie Hawkins hit a towering two-run homer, his 13th of the season, in the first inning and Danville collected 15 ground ball outs - including seven from shortstop Jeremy Potts - as the Admirals held on for a 3-0 win over the host Rebels here Tuesday in the 45th District Tournament.

The Admirals will now face the winner of today's scheduled Lincoln County-Casey County game in Thursday's championship contest.

Winning pitcher Joey Beldon threw only 68 pitches - including 42 strikes - while tossing a three-hit shutout Tuesday.

"He (Beldon) threw the ball extremely well," Danville coach Paul Morse said. "He mixed up his pitches well and kept them off stride at the plate the whole game. They didn't hit many balls hard and he was able to keep the ball off the sweet spot on the bat."


Ads get off to good start

It didn't take long for the Ads (22-11) to get on the scoreboard.

Potts led off the game with a walk off losing pitcher Evan Teague and went to second when C.J. Lynn's sacrifice bunt was mishandled for an error. He went to third on another Boyle error and scored when Deangleo Durham ripped a single off the right field fence. Durham went to second on Boyle's third error of the inning and scored when Hawkins hit a pitch off his shoetops for a two-run homer to center field.

"Everybody was a little nervous going into the game and the home run seemed to loosen us up some," Hawkins said. "It was a low pitch, and those are the type of pitches that I like."

It was just the start that Morse was looking for.

"We wanted to jump on them early to prove to them that the first game wasn't a fluke," the Danville coach said. "(Durham's) single set the tone and Ronnie's home run gave us a big boost."

Teague (8-4) suffered the loss despite giving up only five hits. He struck out 10, walked two and hit three batters.

"Evan pitched well," said Boyle coach David Camic, who failed to reach the regional tournament for the first time in his 13-year coaching career. "It was one of his better outings that he had all year. Hawkins hit a great pitch for the home run. It was just unfortunate that we didn't score any runs for him."

Ads blow chance to put game away

The Ads blew a golden opportunity to put the game away in the fifth inning.

Ryan Funkhouser was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and stole second. Boyle looked to be out of a jam when Potts popped out on a bunt attempt and Lynn struck out before Rich Witten was walked intentioinally. Durham then hit what appeared to be a three-run homer into the trees in right field only to have the play turn into the longest single of his career when Funkhouser was called out for failing to touch the plate.

"It was a well-played game for the most part, except for the play at the plate," Morse said. "The umpire (Steve Hazle) had to make the call."

The call upset Beldon in front of the Danville dugout. But the junior pitcher settled down and retired the side in order on just 24 pitches the rest of the way.

Potts retired five of the final six hitters on ground balls from his shortstop position, and he recorded seven assists during the final four frames.

"We knew if we were going to win the game, we would have to field the ball better than we had late in the season," Potts said. "It helped with Joey throwing the ball down in the strike zone and he threw first-pitch strikes. We had been struggling, but we made the plays today."

Practice paid off

Morse said his team practiced at Boyle Sunday, and all they did was take ground balls.

"We worked on our defense for a hour and a half and it paid off today," Morse said.

Camic said the Admirals are capable of winning the 12th Region.

"They definitely have a chance," the Boyle coach said. "They have speed, power and play great defense. If they can get the pitching for three games, they can make some noise."

Meanwhile, while he was disappointed with the loss, Camic said he has a lot to look forward to next year.

"We return 16 players and lose just two seniors," Camic said. "The cupboard is not bare. We gave a great effort today and I'm not used to not going to the region. We'll be back next year."

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