First Posted: 4/18/2009
Mount Airy pitcher Kendall Cawley pitched a one-hit five inning shutout against visiting Starmount Saturday afternoon, setting the table for the Bears 4-0 win.
Cawley struck out five and walked just one in his first start in more than a week, also picking up his first accredited win of the season.
Granite Bears coach Mack Hodges said he thought Cawley was in top form Saturday.
Hes pitched really well the last couple of games and today was by far the best hes looked on the mound, Hodges said. Kendall throws a little harder, hes got a fastball thats a little faster than Christians so hes a little more of a power pitcher. Today he had really good control of his pitches and was able to spot his pitches very well. I dont think he necessarily threw as hard as he normally does but he had very good location.
Mount Airy picked up nine hits on its way to the win, led by Kody Easter, who finished 2-for-3 with two runs and a double.
Kody Easter was followed by Christian Easter, who finished 2-for-4 with one RBI and catcher Andrew Pelphry who ended the day 2-for-3.
The Bears also had a good day on defense, limiting Starmounts scoring opportunities by limiting their mistakes.
I think the thing weve been most consistent with so far has been our defense, Hodges said. Today we made the plays we were supposed to make. We had that one error but other than that we did really well.
After two and a half scoreless innings, the Bears broke out in the bottom of the third, picking up three runs.
Kody Easter led off with a single for the Bears, moving to third on a hit by Ben Hinson. Easter then scored the first run of the day on a single by Christian Easter.
Hinson scored on a Reece Barbour fielders choice and Torrance Hamilton was hit to load the bases, later scoring on a balk by the Starmount pitcher.
When we are playing our best, we are moving the ball around, base hitting and hit and running, Hodges said. We like to put pressure on the defense and steal bases. We take advantage of peoples mistakes and thats something weve been pretty good at up to this point. When people give us extra opportunities, we normally take advantage of them.
Josh Beasley spelled Cawley in the top of the sixth inning, continuing the shut out his teammate began earlier.
The Bears added another run in the bottom of the sixth, with Kody Easter again leading things off, this time with a double, eventually moving to third on a ground-out and finding his way home on a passed ball to give his team the 4-0 final lead.
Sitting in fourth place in the Northwest 1-A, one game behind rival East Surry, the Bears still have two games remaining against conference leader Bishop McGuinness.
Hodges said his team holds the key to its own fate.
We still have to play Bishop McGuinness twice and we can help ourselves tremendously by being able to win both of those games, he said. Right now its pretty much a four-team race with Bishop, us, East Surry and West Wilkes. Right now we are concentrating on one game at a time. We feel like if we take care of the games weve got and perform like we can and win, we can put pressure on everyone else to keep pace.
In a game which ended too late for Fridays press time, the Bears defeated conference foe East Wilkes Friday 6-1 behind a 12-strikeout complete-game performance from pitcher Christian Easter.
With both Fridays and Saturdays wins, the Bears improve to 7-4 in conference play and 9-5 overall and will travel to Surry Central Monday.
Mount Airy 6,
East Wilkes 1
Mount Airy 110 130 0 6 8 0
East Wilkes 100 000 0 1 5 1
WP: Christian Easter; LP: Brown
2B: EW Micah Bryan
Mount Airy 4,
Starmount 000 000 0 0 2 0
Mount Airy 003 001 0 4 9 1
WP: Kendall Cawley; LP: Tyler Howard
2B: MA Kody Easter